• Government sources said that draft rules, bid documents and agreements for commercial mining has been prepared and finalised and it would be approved by Cabinet soon before auctions start. In the first phase a total of about 80 large and small mines would be put up auction for commercial mining.
  • The implementation of big ticket infrastructure projects will lead to a sharp jump in steel demand, which has taken a hit due to COVID-19 pandemic. The outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic followed by the lockdown has impacted production, sales and despatch of steel in India, Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd (RINL) CMD P K Rath told.
  • The slowdown in industries like construction, auto and infrastructure, which together consume about 80% of steel production, during the lockdown led to a slump in demand of steel in the country and as a result inventory levels have increased, he said. Steel demand contracted by about 6-7% in the financial ended March 31, 2020, he added.
  • The country’s coal import dropped by 29.1% to 18.65 million tonnes in April due to the lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus infection as against 26.34 million tonnes (MT) of coal in April 2019, according to mjunction services The government had recently asked power generating companies to reduce coal import for blending purpose and replace it with domestic coal.
  • The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown, has extended the date for submission of Expressions of Interest (EoIs) for evaluation of Component A and C of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthan Mahabhiyan (PM-KUSUM) scheme. The new deadline for submission of EoIs is 20 May, 2020. The earlier deadline was May 8, 2020.
  • Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways Mr Nitin Gadkari said that his ministry has firmed up plans to execute Rs 15 trillion worth of national highway projects within the next two years. He said the ministry is working on the vehicle scrapping policy, and is likely to announced it soon.
  • India’s coal production is unlikely to be scaled down as the demand far outstrips the local supply available, global consultancy firm EY said. It further said that the buffer inventories of coal will be consumed once the downstream plants start running at full capacity after the lockdown is lifted.