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.
In the wake of shutdown of string of mines by world’s largest iron ore miner, Brazil based Vale, countries like China are witnessing global level supply issues. As a result, even inferior grade iron ore at mine heads in Odisha and Jharkhand are getting exported. This might seem a temporary phenomenon but it will help in the following ways:
liquidate the enormous inventory in Odisha and Jharkhand for which there are no takers in the domestic market; and
spur exports since shipping higher grade attracted export tax @30% which is not the case with lower grade iron ore
Recently, MMTC Ltd has floated tenders for exports of lower grade iron ore to be shipped through the ports of Paradip, Gopalpur, Haldia and Visakhapatnam.