The sharp downward revision in growth by various national and international agencies indicates that the impact of the coronavirus-induced lockdown was highly deleterious and the stimulus package was inadequate, EY said. It said the growth projections for the current year by various global and domestic agencies indicate a sharp contraction ranging from (-)3.2% to (-)6.8%. And Indian economic growth stood at an estimated 4.2% in 2019-20.
Power consumption remained muted in June. The 105.2 billion units (BUs) of electricity supplied in the month was only 3% higher than May, but 10.8% down year-on-year. The gradual rise in demand can be attributed to higher agricultural consumption in the sowing season and increased residential usage with the advent of summer.
Power demand in states like Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, where industrial and commercial consumers comprise more than 40% of electricity usage, were lower by 10.1%, 16.4%, 10.2% and 18.9%, respectively, year-on-year. However, states such as Rajasthan, Karnataka and Telangana, where agricultural power consumption is high, recorded annual decreases of 6.5%, 8.6% and 4.2%, respectively.
Unemployment rate in the country more than halved to 11% in June from 23.5% in May. Employment rate also improved handsomely from 29.2% in May to 35.9% in June, implying an addition of 70 million jobs, the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) said.
The government expects to roll out the online single-window clearance system for coal block plans by the end of next month, a senior Coal Ministry official said. Coal Joint Secretary M Nagaraju highlighted that various regulatory approvals at state level were causing delay in development of coal mines.
The country’s coal imports registered a drop of 29.7% to 48.84 million tonnes (MT) in the April-June period of the ongoing financial year, according to industry data. India had imported 69.54 MT of coal in the April-June period of 2019-20, according to provisional compilation by mjunction.
According to ICRA, India’s domestic solar capacity is expected to add about 5.5 gigawatt (GW) during the financial year 2020-21 due to the execution headwinds amid lockdown restrictions post-COVID pandemic. The ratings agency said that the domestic solar capacity addition in FY20 remained lower by 15% than its previous estimate of about 7.5 GW as a result of various disruptions caused by the pandemic in the fourth quarter in the fiscal year.