• The government is finalising a list of functional national highway projects that would be placed under infrastructure investment trust (InvIT) to be offered to potential investors. InvIT means bundling of three to four highway projects to form a special purpose vehicle or a trust to be offered to bidders
  • The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) would prefer brown-field projects over greenfield contracts for InvIT.
  • “The projects that are being considered for the InvIT structure comprise nearly 80% brownfield (or existing
  •  projects) and around 20% greenfield (or new) alignments,” an official said, adding that completely new projects are at a higher risk due to long term traffic projections.
  • The government plans closure of the three state-owned trading firms Metals & Minerals Trading Corporation of India (MMTC), State Trading Corporation (STC) and Project and Equipment Corporation Ltd. The department of commerce may soon approach the cabinet with the proposal. 
  • The Commerce and Industry Ministry launched Steel Import Monitoring System (SIMS) which will provide advance information about steel import to government and other stakeholders, including producers and consumers, to have effective policy interventions.
  • In this system, the importers of specified steel products will register in advance on the web portal of SIMS, providing necessary information. 
  • The government expects a 30% rise in export credit disbursals by the end of 2019-20 through greater insurance coverage of exporters and easier inspection norms. 
  • The commerce and industry ministry will soon approach the Cabinet for reduction in insurance premium rates to 0.6% for small exporters having an outstanding limit of less than Rs 80 crore.
  • In an interview Mr Anil Kumar Jha, CMD, Coal India Ltd said that in view of the economic slowdown, as far as Coal India is concerned, there is absolutely no slowdown. CIL is not in a position to meet country’s coal demand but trying to bridge the demand supply gap as much as possible.
  • Talking about the target this year, he said in the last six months, CIL have fallen behind its target.
  • He has also talked about the law and order issues, clients’ requirements and disinvestment plans.
  • The Supreme Court has asked the Centre and NHAI as to why they should not be asked
    to pay arbitration award dues of Rs 6,070 crore to Ajit Gulabchand-led Hindustan
    Construction Company (HCC), which is facing insolvency proceedings before the
    National Company Law Tribunal.
  • A bench led by Justice RF Nariman last week issued notice to Ministries of Finance,
    Road Transport and Highways and Law & Justice and Company Affairs and also NHAI,
    NHPC, Ircon International, NTPC and National Institution for Transforming India in this
    matter.