• Stress faced by coal-based power projects in India has eased significantly with an increase in electricity demand, improved coal availability and government initiatives, as per the experts. However, delayed payments by distribution companies continue to pose challenges to power producers.
  • Steel companies through a representation by various associations to the government of India requested an immediate auction of iron ore mining leases (~53 MT) expiring next March.
  • This move will prevent a loss of INR 79,500 crore to the exchequer, while it will increase transparency in allocation and increase the revenue.
  • The government needs to amend Section 8A (4) of the MMDR Act that allows auctioning of mines only on expiry of the lease period.
  • As per the report of the Government Committee, leases on 334 mines (49 operational and 245 non-operational) expire in March 2020.
  • Of this, leases on 33 operational iron ore mines with an annual production capacity of 55 million tonne and 16 working iron ore mines in Odisha expire next March.
  • India is expected to maintain the current level of thermal coal imports as the country’s power demand is likely to increase (as per a report by Fitch Ratings).
  • Domestic output of dry fuel and logistics bottlenecks in coal transportation will affect supply of coal to the market.
  • Indian coal imports increased by about 2%(year-on-year) in the nine months to March 2019.
  • In FY 19, India imported 164.21 million tonne of non-coking coal against 144.99 million tonne in FY 18 (source: mjunction services).
  • In FY 19, India imported 233.56 million tonne of coal against 214.61 million tonne in FY 18 (source: mjunction services).
  • Centre cuts its budgetary expenditure by 1.45 lakh crore (about 6%) due to an 11.3% shortfall in tax revenue against the revised budget estimates (RE) and stuck to the FY19 fiscal deficit target (RE) of 3.4% of the gross domestic product (GDP).
  • Amid hopes of RBI rate cut and intense equity rally, the Indian rupee gained another 44 paise (now close at 69.26) against the US dollar On Monday (June 3, 2019)
  • This is the second straight session of gain for the domestic currency, during which it has strengthened by 58 paise.
  • Economic growth slumped to the lowest at 5.8% in the fourth quarter of 2018-19
  • The economy growth decreased to 6% in FY19 against 8.2% in 2016-17.
  • One of the biggest contributors to the slowdown is the <a href=”https://www.business-standard.com/topic/investment”>investment </a>rate, shown a sharper dip in March quarter of FY19.
  • Agriculture and manufacturing have also shown a consistent slowing down along four quarters of FY19.