• Secondary metal producers have asked the government to cut customs duty on imported metallic scrap and curb cheap imports. The industry says metal recycling should be treated as a priority sector.
  • Going ahead with reforms in the coal sector, the centre government now plans to establish a Coal Regulator on the lines of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and Central Electricity Authority (CEA).
  • The Minister for Coal and Mines, Pralhad Joshi, said that supplies from commercially auctioned mines will help meet Coal India’s production shortfall.
  • He said, the broad idea is to limit the import of coking coal to 100 million tonnes at present consumption levels. “ For the coming 5-10 years, it is expected that the supplies from commercially auctioned mines will meet the demand that Coal India is not able to,” he added.
  • Just like IRCTC which pays compensation for delays in its Tejas trains, railways’ freight customers could soon be compensated for late arrival of their goods, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal indicated, demanding a commitment of timely delivery.
  • Goyal said that it should make a commitment to its customers with a timetable for its freight trains.
  • Due to higher tariffs and logistics costs, the cost of coal for end users went up significantly. On landed basis, taxes, duties and levies have accounted for up to 25% and freight up to 34% of overall coal cost, making CIL non-competitive, necessitating the urgency of reforms.
  • India has a stated objective of achieving 40% of installed capacity from renewables by 2030.
  • According to the International Monetary Fund, India’s growth premium over the emerging economies (EMs) will hit a seven-year low in 2019-20 (FY20) and an 18-year low against the developed economy, including the US.
  • India’s gross domestic product (GDP) at constant prices is expected to grow by 5% in FY20, against 3.9% growth in EMs in the calendar year (CY) 2019. India’s growth premium over EMs in FY20 is expected to be the lowest since 2012-13, when it had shrunk to 0.1%.