Commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal said the government is working on reforms in the mining sector and attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) in sectors where it is constrained at present. FDI into India rose 13% to a record $49.97 billion in FY20 from $44.36.
Thermal coal imports at India’s 12 major ports dropped 34.70% to 17.71 million tonnes in the first quarter of the current fiscal, according to the Indian Ports’ Association (IPA). Impacted by the pandemic, coking coal imports too witnessed a decline 28.49% to 10.69 million tonnes in the quarter. These ports had handled 27.13 million tonnes of thermal coal and 14.95 million tonnes of coking coal in the April-June period of the previous financial year.
Industry body FICCI said its Economic Outlook Survey has projected the country’s annual median GDP growth for 2020-21 at (-)4%. With the rapid spread of COVID-19 pandemic manifesting into an economic and healthcare crisis globally, the latest forecast marks a sharp downward revision from the growth estimate of 5.5% reported in the January 2020 survey.
High coal taxation and evacuation tariff continue to be major challenges in the coal sector responsible for higher prices at the end of the consumers, Mr M. Nagaraju, Joint Secretary at Ministry of Coal said adding that if these two issues are tackled the availability of coal at the end of the consumers will be much cheaper.
Replacing coal with clean energy can potentially save electricity customers around the world $141 billion by 2025, according to a report by US-based Rocky Mountain Institute. The report also added that out of 2,500 coal plants, the share of uncompetitive coal plants worldwide will increase rapidly to 60% in 2022 and to 73% in 2025.
India’s consumer price inflation likely eased in June from March, a Reuters poll predicted, as loosened coronavirus-led restrictions in most of the country drove a slight recovery in economic activity and helped reduce a supply crunch. The July 3-8 poll median of over 35 economists showed India’s retail inflation in June moderated to 5.30% from March’s revised 5.84%, still breaching the Reserve Bank of India’s medium-term target of 4.00%.