• The Central Statistics Office has projected the economy’s growth rate for 2019-20 at 5%, the lowest in the current series with 2011-12 as the base year. This projection is a 11-year low
  • Domestic iron ore prices are set to escalate between 30 and 40% after mining commences again from the lapsing merchant blocks in Odisha following the successful conduct of online auctions.
  • A study by CRISIL Research illustrates that premium for most of the mines would exceed 40% in a majority of the mines put up for auctions.
  • Private electricity generators have expressed their concern over the latest auction for coal linkage being conducted by Coal India (CIL) for power plants without power purchase agreements (PPAs). In a letter to Union coal minister Pralhad Joshi, the Association of Power Producers (APP) has claimed that the auction methodology is not in line with the recommendations of the high-level empowered committee (HLEC) which was constituted to address issues of stressed thermal power projects.
  • The Ministry of Coal aims to issue the Notice Inviting Tender (NIT) documents before the end of the current financial year to begin the process of commercial coal mining auctions.
  • According to a top Coal Ministry official, this change would require an approval of the Union Cabinet, followed by an Ordinance or a Bill depending on the urgency and subject to the House being in session.
  • Strong growth returned to the services sector in December as international business helped it scale a five-month high, according to a global survey.
  • The widely tracked Nikkei India Services Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) stood at 53.3 in December, up from 52.7 in November.
  • Services growth had peaked to a 43-month high of 54.7 in August, followed by two-straight months of contraction. This was in line with manufacturing activity, which also rose to 52.7 from 51.2 in November after October’s two-year low, according to a survey.
  • The recent price hike by domestic steel companies, supported by improving demand and firming up of global steel prices in anticipation of a US-China trade deal, may significantly improve their margins during the fourth quarter of this financial year, say metal sector analysts.