As per industry body Worldsteel, India’s steel demand is likely to face a sharp decline of 18% in 2020, while global steel demand is expected to contract 6.4% to 1,654 million tonnes due to the COVID-19 crisis. According to official figures, India consumed over 100 MT steel during 2019.
India has decided to set up a coaltrading platform, taking a giant leap towards completely throwing open the sector to market forces as the country gears up for commercial coalmining auctions, which will increase the number of sellers of coal.
The country’s coal import dropped by 20% to 18.93 million tonnes last month, industry data showed. The government is planning to bring the country’s ‘avoidable coal imports’ to zero by 2023-24. Demand for coal import is expected to remain subdued in the short-term given the high coal stock levels in pithead and power plants, according to mjunction. The coal import in May last year stood at 23.57 million tonnes.
Union Minister Mr Pralhad Joshi announced that the Centre would invest more than Rs one lakh crore in the next three to four years to increase the country’s coal production and to augment facilities for its off-take and transportation. He said steps were being taken to reduce the import of coal.
The coal ministry, which plans to launch the process of auction for commercial coal mining, has appointed FICCI as programme management partner to organise and manage the event, a source said. The coal ministry proposes to launch the auction of coal mines through an event in the national capital, followed by roadshows in different parts of the country. These events are aimed at creating awareness about the amendments made in various laws and rules by the Centre and generate private sector interest and participation.