• Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has demanded under-construction Nagarnar plant in his state to be handed over to the state. Baghel said this on the decision of divestment of the plant even before its completion.
  • Corporate India has pitched for “uniformity” in the corporate tax rate, stating that a rate of 22% for existing firms and 15% for new manufacturing firms creates “inequality”.
  • All corporate tax rates in the country should be converged to 15%, with no exemptions and incentives ,over three years from April 1, 2023, Confederation of Indian Industry President Vikram Kirloskar suggested to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at the pre-Budget meeting convened with prominent industrialists here.
  • In the next two years, at least 13 million tonnes of capacity is likely to be added by the country’s top steel and iron ore producers in a market that is currently growing at 3%.
  • JSW Steel is likely to complete its 5 million tonnes expansion at Maharashtra’s Dolvi next year; Tata Steel’s second phase of expansion is underway at Odisha’s Kalinganagar and is expected to be completed between the end of calendar year 2021 and financial year 2022. NMDC is targeting to complete its 3 million tonnes greenfield plant in FY21 and Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL), which has expanded capacity to 21.4 million tonnes in FY19, is now in the process of ramping it up.
  • The union coal ministry has allocated two coal blocks to state-owned mining major and
    the largest domestic iron ore producer NMDC Limited for commercial mining. These
    include the Rohne and Tokisud North under Section 5(1) of Coal Mines (Special
    Provisions) Act 2015.
  • To further improve the connectivity of villages with hospitals, schools and markets, Union Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar launched the third phase of the government’s rural road programme to widen and revamp 1.25-lakh km of roads.
  • As on December 16, 2019, more than six lakh km of rural roads have been completed under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) connecting 97.27 of the habitations in the country, the minister said, according to an official statement.
  • Of the total, a road length of 36,063 km has been constructed using green technologies, a major portion of which includes waste plastic and cold mix technology, he said.
  • The Centre’s fiscal deficit for April-November likely stood at 107% of the fiscal year 2019-20 target of Rs 7.04 trillion, said senior government sources. This compares to 114.8% for April-November, 2018-19, and 102.4% till the end of October this year.
  • This means that for the remaining four months of the fiscal year, the Centre has to initiate a heavy compression of expenditure in order to meet the fiscal deficit target, which has been pegged at 3.3% of GDP. For the first half of the year (April-September), fiscal deficit was at 6.6% of the GDP for that period.