• Urban development minister H S Puri said that there will be a requirement of around 158 lakh tonnes of steel and 692 lakh tonnes of cement to construct 1.12 crore houses under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban). Of this, around 84 lakh tonnes of steel and 370 lakh tonnes of cement has already been consumed.
  • India’s unemployment rate spiked to a nine-week high of 9.1% for the week ended August 16. Compared with a week earlier, the employment rate and labour participating rate (LPR) also increased to 38.4% and 42.2% from 37.09% and 40.62%, respectively, the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) said.
  • Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari has asked Manipur if the State could bring in a notification to provide sand dredged from rivers for the construction of roads and highways in the region. This will help lower the cost of highways while also clearing up the waterways, Gadkari said.
  • Demand for domestic coal is likely to be subdued in the second quarter of the current financial year, due to lower demand from end-user industries amid the COVID-19 pandemic along with high inventory at power stations, according to a report by India Ratings. The rating agency said domestic coal production remained subdued for the third consecutive month in June 2020 year-on-year as well as month-on-month due to low power demand and higher inventory at power stations.
  • Even as construction activities in the country have resumed since July, increase in fiscal deficit of central and state governments is likely to impact the sector this financial year, according to India Ratings (IndRa). The agency had recently noted that the fiscal deficit of central and state governments will come at 12.1% with the states contributing 4.5% of it.
  • Hit by disruptions pandemic, both thermal and coking coal imports at India’s 12 major ports dropped 31% to 36.7 million tonnes (MT) in April-July 2020 over the same period a year ago, according to the Indian Ports’ Association (IPA). Thermal coal imports dropped 30% to 23.19 MT and coking coal shipments fell 32.26% to 13.51 MT during this period.