• India’s economy is expected to grow 1.5% to 2.8% in the 2020-21 fiscal which started on April 1, the World Bank said in its South Asia Economic Focus report.
  • The Asian Development Bank (ADB) sees India’s economic growth slipping to 4% in the current fiscal, while S&P Global Ratings has further slashed its GDP growth forecast for the country to 3.5% from a previous downgrade of 5.2%.
  • Coal Minister Mr Pralhad Joshi has written to chief ministers of all states asking them to not import the dry fuel and take domestic supply of fuel from state-owned CIL, which has the fossil fuel in abundance. The development comes at a time when there is a drop in power demand in the country.
  • The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has suggested the Home Ministry to allow limited activity in certain sectors such as heavy electricals and telecom equipment with reasonable safeguards. The department said that these activities are essential to improve the economic situation and provide liquidity in the hands of the people.
  • Certain industries which can be permitted to start with minimum manpower and proper sanitation and distancing norms/safeguards on a single shift basis include telecom equipment and components including Optic Fiber Cable; compressor and condenser units; steel and ferrous Alloy mills; spinning and ginning mills, power looms; defence; cement plants; pulp and paper units; fertilizer plants; paints; plastic; automotive units; gems and jewellery; and all units in SEZs and EOUs.
  • Cargo handling rose marginally to nearly 705 million tonnes (MT) at the country’s 12 major ports 2019-20 over the previous fiscal, according to official data. These ports had handled 699.10 million tonnes (MT) cargo in 2018-19.The growth at these ports, that had handled 679.37 MT cargo in 2017-18, was driven mainly by higher handling of containers, coal and fertilisers.
  • To boost the coal demand hit by the ongoing lockdown, the government announced a slew of measures like increased dry fuel supply for linkage consumers. Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi announced several relief measures for the consumers of Coal India Ltd (CIL), including the power sector, in the wake of situation arising from coronavirus, according to a coal ministry statement.
  • Iron ore shipments from Indian ports in FY20 touched its peak in the last six years. At the end of February, the ports had carried 50 million tonnes of the key ingredient in steel making.
  • Iron ore has recorded a spurt of 43% in volumes, registering the highest growth among all commodities. By contrast, fertilizer, liquid cargo and container cargo rose by 10.3%, 2.5% and 2.1% respectively. Coal traffic at ports dipped by 8.3% as demand subsided.