ICRA has projected the economy to grow by 1.9% in the fourth quarter against 5.8% a year ago and 4.3% in 2019-20 against 6.1% in 2018-19. Earlier, the second advance estimates of the government pegged the growth at 5% in 2019-20.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, thermal coal imports at India’s 12 major ports saw a 30.46% plunge at 7.8 million tonnes (MT) in the first month of the current fiscal, as per the ports body IPA. These Centre-owned ports had handled 11.27 MT of thermal coal in the same month of 2018-19.
The country’s 12 major ports recorded a 21% decline in cargo volumes to 47.42 million tonnes in April this year, mainly due to coronavirus outbreak, according to Indian Ports Association (IPA). Ports like JNPT, Chennai, Cochin and Kamrajar witnessed huge decline in cargo handling, as per the latest data.
India’s crude steel output declined over 65% to 3.13 million tonnes during April against 9.02 million tonnes of crude steel produced during the same month a year ago, according to the World Steel Association. India had posted a 14% decline in steel output at 8.65 million tonnes in March as compared with 10.04 million tonnes in March 2019.
Moody’s Investors Service said India’s economy is expected to contract for the first time in more than four decades saying economic damage owing to the coronavirus-induced lockdown will be significant with lower consumption and sluggish business activity. It however expected the economy to see a recovery in fiscal 2021-22, somewhat stronger than its earlier forecast of 6.6% growth.
In a gazette notification, the ministry amended the Environment Protection Act to drop mandatorily washing coal for supply to thermal power plants. According to the gazette notification, use of coal by Thermal Power Plants, without stipulations as regards ash content or distance shall be permitted.