NTPC has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Hazipur-based East Central Railway Zone for transportation of fly ash under Indian Railways’ Special Freight Train Operator (SFTO) scheme. NTPC has now become the first entity in the country to sign an SFTO agreement with Indian Railways. The impact of signing the MoU is as under:

  • Sustainable ash utilisation to safeguard the environment and translate into steady revenue stream for the company in the long run;
  • Enhance ash utilisation at Rihand and Vindhyachal Super Thermal Power plants and will be further extended to other NTPC projects
  • Transportion of fly ash in the region will be in bulk and at a lower cost
  • Less damage due to transportation of fly ash by Bogey Tank For Alumina Powder (BTAP) rakes, since these are leak proof wagons with special air fluidizing system.



Shapoorji Pallonji group, an infrastructure and construction company, recently bagged three smart city projects at Varanasi, Bengaluru and Eluru. It plans to offer the following facilities:

  • city surveillance and traffic management system, which will aid the local police in managing traffic in the city;
  • replacement of street lights with LEDs to save energy cost;
  • help to create employment and social impact;
  • undertake measures for regular water supply, waste water management, flood management, smart grid & energy management, affordable housing, smart solid waste, safety & security and city beautification

The Company is looking to raise ~850 crore for the Bengaluru and Eluru projects via debt route, thereby approaching multiple lenders.





As per the statistics in February 2019, inflation can be seen on a rise at both wholesale and retail level. This is on account of firming up of prices of primary food items, including vegetables and cereals. The Consumer Price Index also indicates that the retail inflation has shown a four-month-high level, due to costlier food articles.

All eyes are now on the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) Monetary Policy Committee meeting scheduled to be held in April wherein monthly monetary policy review of the next fiscal shall be undertaken, at a time when growth rate of industrial production is slowing and inflation inching up.

Coal India, under Shakti B(ii) scheme is proposing to conduct another (third) round of bid for giving out long term fuel supply contracts. This is a result of the protest from participants who could not secure their total coal requirements in the previous rounds of bid.


Shakti B(ii) is a one-time process that provides long term fuel supply to power producers who have power purchase agreements with dis-coms, but do not have coal supply contracts with Coal India.


Rahul Gandhi, Congress president, at a news conference in Chennai and a poll rally in Nagercoil, highlighted the Congress Lok Sabha election agenda as under:

  • 33 per cent reservation for women in all government jobs;
  • reforms in the Goods and Services Tax(GST);
  • unemployment and farmers distress as the key area for improvement;

Further, he expressed his views on the pricing mechanism under the highly controversial Rafale deal.

On March 13, 2019 (Wednesday), the Indian rupee gained 17 paisa against US dollar to close at 69.5387 on account of the investment in the Indian market by foreign investors who are swayed by:

  • unlikely increase in the interest rates by RBI;
  • increasing risk appetite; and
  • return of the NDA led Government at power

However, rupee continues to have a core negative flow across a large current account deficit and net FDI. One may still predict gain in Indian rupee up to upcoming elections.