• On Thursday (August 22, 2019), the domestic currency crashed to an over eight-month
    low of 71.81, dropping 26 paise as tumbling equities and incessant foreign fund
    outflows.
  • Industry officials in India are expecting a marginal drop in cheap Chinese steel imports
    as the Chinese government may be emphasising on development of infrastructure
    sector.
  • Global iron ore prices, however, are expected to go up, with the demand for the raw
    material in China expected to rise, as the country’s steel players are focusing on the
    domestic infrastructure sector.
  • The power ministry has redefined “statutory payments” in its latest order on the debt
    servicing mechanism for stressed power generation assets, effectively leaving more
    money for debt-servicing with the firms concerned and reducing their tax burden.
  • The latest clarification modifies a recent order on the creation of ‘Trust Retention
    Account’ (TRA) by stressed power plants which are receiving coal through the Shakti
    scheme.
    The power ministry has now clarified that that revenue deposited in the TRA would be
    used to clear taxes and duties only for additional electricity that plants are producing
    from the extra coal they receive through the Shakti scheme. So, tax obligations from
    power produced from other sources of coal won’t now burden stressed units.
  • In a bid to boost investments in wind power projects and provide clean energy at
    cheaper rates, the Environment Ministry decided to relax the lease rent of Rs 30,000
    per megawatt charged mandatorily from wind power companies.
  • Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said that this move will encourage
    investment and help provide wind power at a cheaper rate.
  • The minister said that “The government envisages to meet maximum energy
    requirement by tapping renewal energy resources and, to achieve the target of clean
    energy in a time-bound manner, various policies and regulations are being constantly
    updated. The government is committed to provide clean and green energy at a cheaper
    rate.”
  • The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has issued guidelines for the
    implementation of Phase-II of the rooftop solar programme, which envisages a greater
    involvement of power distribution companies (discoms). Under Phase-II, the
    government aims to set up 40 GW of rooftop solar projects by 2022.
  • The Ministry of Mines has put an interim stay on Karnataka government’s decision to
    cancel the lease given to NMDC for the Donimalai iron ore mine, till the next date of
    hearing. On August 17, Karnataka government had decided to cancel the lease and put
    the mine under auction.