• The government is planning to set up a project management unit for expediting the operationalisation of allotted coal blocks.
  • The coal ministry will hire a consultant to set up the project management unit, the ministry said in a notice while inviting bids from eligible entities. The last date for submission of bid is December 19, it said.
  • NITI Aayog and the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) have released the report of the ‘Task Force on Clean Industry’ to tackle Delhi’s air pollution crisis. Some of the recommendations given in the report are:
    • Introduction of mandatory contractual obligations on clean construction for all individuals and organisations;
    • Strengthening of Building Code and building by-laws for ensuring ambient air quality;
    • Two-tier mechanism for penalties;
    • Utilisation of bottom (coarse) ash, which gets generated during combustion at a thermal power plant for value added products; and
    • Priority status should be given to cleaner gas-based thermal power units and coal-based thermal power units with advanced emission controls for sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter.
  • On Friday (November 15, 2019), the Indian rupee appreciated by 23 paise to 71.73 against the US dollar as gains in domestic equity market and weakening of the American currency vis-a-vis other currencies overseas strengthened investor sentiments.
  • Wholesale Price Index (WPI)-based inflation for October 2019 came in at 0.16%, much lower than 5.54% recorded in the same month last year. It was also lower than 0.33% recorded in September 2019, official data showed.
  • On the heels of rolling out the scrap steel policy, Union ministry of steel will go all out to work in tandem with state governments to create steel clusters in micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector. The idea is ensure quality scrap for steel industry that would minimise the need for expensive imports.
  • India had been paying as much as Rs. 24,500 crore to import its 7-million tonne deficit, as in 2017-2018, of scrap steel, despite the fact that country has a huge unorganised pool of unprofessionally-run scrap processing outfits far and wide.
  • Steel manufacturers hiked prices for the first time in the last seven months in November, as the inventory at both the consumer and steel manufacturers’ end shrank after the recent pick-up in demand.