The country’s industrial output declined by 16.7% in March, mainly on account of poor show by mining, manufacturing and electricity sector due to the nationwide lockdown. According to National Statistical Office (NSO) data, manufacturing sector output fell by 20.6% compared to a growth of 3.1% in the same month a year ago.
The Indian power sector (includes both conventional and renewables) managed to add more new capacity in FY20 than the previous fiscal amid some challenges.
For the third year in a row, the renewable sector added more new capacity than conventional energy sector and the clean energy sector now accounts for close to one-fourth of the total installed energy capacity in the country. The total capacity addition of conventional and renewable segments stood at 15,776 MW in 2019-20 when compared with 14,204 MW in 2018-19.
After the government’s move to raise its market borrowing programme for the current financial year by Rs 4.2 lakh crore, a foreign brokerage estimated the fiscal deficit to come at 5.8% of the GDP in FY21 as against the budget target of 3.5%. In a report, analysts at Bank of America also revised down their GDP growth estimate to 0.5% for the current fiscal year, as against the earlier estimate of 1.5%.
India will produce a record 700 million tonnes of coal in the current fiscal ending March 2021, helping cut down on imports, Coal Secretary Anil Jain said. India produced 602.14 million tonnes of coal in 2019-20 fiscal, marginally lower than 606 million tonnes output in the previous year.
Government sources said that draft rules, bid documents and agreements for commercial mining has been prepared and finalised and it would be approved by Cabinet soon before auctions start. In the first phase a total of about 80 large and small mines would be put up auction for commercial mining.
The implementation of big ticket infrastructure projects will lead to a sharp jump in steel demand, which has taken a hit due to COVID-19 pandemic. The outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic followed by the lockdown has impacted production, sales and despatch of steel in India, Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd (RINL) CMD P K Rath told.
The slowdown in industries like construction, auto and infrastructure, which together consume about 80% of steel production, during the lockdown led to a slump in demand of steel in the country and as a result inventory levels have increased, he said. Steel demand contracted by about 6-7% in the financial ended March 31, 2020, he added.