• The government has taken several steps in order to secure coking coal supplies for the Indian steel industry. Efforts are being made to import coking coal from the US, Russia and Mongolia to diversify the coking coal import sources, Union Steel Minister Mr Dharmendra Pradhan said in a reply to a query in the Lok Sabha.
  • While output of iron ore, another key raw material for the steel industry, in the country is sufficient to meet the current demand, the entire demand of coking coal is not met from domestic production as the availability of high-quality coking coal (low-ash coal) in the country is limited and, thus, no option is left but to resort to import of coking coal.
  • During 2018-19, the total demand of coking coal for the steel industry was 58.37 million tonne out of this, 51.83 million tonnes was met through imports, 1.6 million tonnes was provided by Bharat Coking Coal Ltd (BCCL) and Coal India Ltd (CIL) and the remaining was catered by captive collieries of SAIL and Tata Steel.
  • India’s fiscal deficit touched 128.5% of the whole-year Budget target in January-end, the Controller General of Accounts (CGA) said. The deficit during the same period during 2018-19 was 121.5% of that year’s Revised Budget Estimate (RE). The government had targeted to restrict the fiscal deficit at ₹7,66,846 crore during the year ending March 31, 2020.
  • Container Corporation of India Ltd (Concor) will be directed to buy land leased from Indian Railways to build close to half of its 86 inland container depots (ICDs) as the government looks to resolve a key issue that threatens to derail its plans to privatise the rail hauler of boxes. According to rough estimates, Concor will have to pay as much as ₹8,000 crore to buy the railway land.
  • The implementation of decentralised solar network across India involving solarisation of all substations feeding the agriculture power demand will require setting up of 400 Gigawatt of solar capacity, according to Mr Saurabh Kumar, MD, Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL). The Company will invest Rs 25,000 crore on the smart meter programme, and Rs 30,000 crore on the decentralised solar project over the next five years, said Kumar
  • Eastern Coalfields Ltd said the company aims to ramp up production over the next five years to be in a position to export the dry fuel. The Coal India subsidiary will also look at new mines, keeping environmental concerns in mind, ECL CMD, Mr Prem Sagar Mishra said.
  • Coal India Ltd is likely to register a 13% year-on-year rise in production in February to 66 million tonnes. The world’s largest miner had produced 58.05 million tonnes in the corresponding month a year ago. Cumulative production for the April-February period is expected to be 517.5 million tonnes.