• Parliament on March 12, 2020 passed a bill that will remove end-use restrictions for participating in coal mine auctions and open up the coal sector fully for commercial mining for all domestic and global companies. 
  • The government has set up a high-level committee under NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Mr Rajiv Kumar to draw a road map for opening up of the country’s mining sector to private players.
  • The committee will suggest policy measures to liberalise the framework and make it attractive for private players, officials reported. The proposed plan envisages complete mining rights to interested players while imposing a cap on royalty.

  • Unable to meet its targets for providing own home to every rural household under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yoajana (PMAY-Gramin), the Rural Development Ministry would seek time extension of two years for the flagship programme.
  • According to sources, the rural development ministry would seek Cabinet approval for time extension till March 31, 2022. The mission, which was launched in 2016, had set an initial target of constructing 2.95 crore houses based on Socio-Economic Caste Census 2011 data.
  • India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) has revised its outlook for the power sector outlook to negative for FY21 from stable-to-negative. It has been triggered by muted growth in electricity demand and rising Discom dues due to limited improvement in financial profile of discoms since the launch UDAY.
  • Nearly $640 billion of investment in coal power capacity worldwide is at risk because it is cheaper to generate electricity from new renewables, research by Carbon Tracker Initiative showed.
  • The report examined the economics of 95% of coal plants which are operating, under construction or planned worldwide.
  • Globally, 499 gigawatts (GW) of new coal power capacity is planned or under construction with an investment cost of $638 billion.
  • More than 60% of global coal plants are currently generating electricity at a higher cost than could be produced by building new renewables.
  • By 2030 at the latest, it will be cheaper to build new wind or solar capacity than continue operating coal in all markets, the report said.