• The Indian rupee opened 5 paise higher at 71.38 against the US dollar in early trade on Thursday (17.10.2019) tracking positive opening in domestic equities and foreign fund inflows.
  • Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Puri, who is faces the daunting challenge of overseeing housing sector besides civil aviation, shares his views on green technologies, and the redevelopment plan of Central Vista in an interview with media.
  • In response to construction sector moving forward, he said that In the coming days, more and greener technologies which are of global standard will have to be adopted in India. The traditional use of building material such as brick and mortar is adding to the toxicity. It’s not only about providing homes to everyone but care has to be taken to ensure it is done in an environment-friendly manner.
  • In response to challenging aspect of urbanisation in India, he said at this point of time, urbanisation needs to factor in both the challenges that the urban landscape is currently facing and the challenges which are going to arise between now and 2030 when around 600 million people would be living in urban India. India of 2030 has to be rebuilt completely.
  • About West Bengal is not part of some of the schemes, he said we will continue to persuade the State. In urban areas, all the States have been declared Open Defecation Free (ODF) except 52 Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) of West Bengal. The schemes such as Swachh Bharat are for the people and they should avail it. However, positive changes are happening there even if they are happening at a slower pace.
  • India has imposed a provisional $29-$200 a tonne anti-dumping duty to rein in burgeoning and predatory imports of galvalume steel products from China, Vietnam and Korea which were causing material injury to the domestic industry. The duty will remain in effect for six months.
  • JSW Steel Coated Products, a unit of Sajjan Jindal-led JSW Steel, had moved a petition before the Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) for imposition of the trade remedial measure on imports of the high-end aluminium and zinc coated flat products (galvalume) that find application in roofing purposes to making auto parts.
  • In its petition, JSW Steel Coated Products had submitted that imports of these products galloped by more than 11 times from 17,695 tonnes in 2015-16 to 2,02,711 tonnes during the investigation period — October 2017 to September 2018.
  • The Government is toying with the idea of stipulating a minimum distance between two ports as part of its efforts to ensure that ports in the country remain viable financially. This is likely to get reflected in a new Bill that may be introduced in the ensuing Winter or next Budget session of Parliament and would like the ports to be empowered so that they do not have to come to the Centre for their decisions.
  • With an aim to raise Rs 4,200 crore NHAI has invited bids for its 4th bundle of TOT. The Road & Highways Ministry has been working aggressively on its asset monetisation program, as it creates a pipeline of projects that can be monetised. 
  • Bids were invited on Wednesday for seven projects of cumulative length of 401 kilometres, in the states of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and union territory Jammu and Kashmir, for a concession period of 30 years, and base value of Rs 4,170 crore. Union minister of road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari has also said in the past that TOT projects should be offered in smaller bundles to attract small investors. 
  • Over 33 power stations in the NCR were given two years’ extension from the original deadline of 2017 to install emissions-control technology, but most are yet to award tenders, reveals RTI.
  • According to the revised plan, 33 power stations in the NCR and six stations in other ‘critically polluted areas’ of the country were required to bring down the emissions of hazardous Sulphur oxide within legal limit by December 31 this year and most power stations outside NCR up to 2022. The remaining 400 units got more time. Of these 33 power stations, only two in the NCR have installed the technology so far, while 11 stations have awarded the tenders for the same, the CEA data shows. The other stations are yet to award the tenders.