• For the automobile sector reeling from slowdown, there could be some breather from steelmakers lowering contract prices by 11-14% for the second half of FY20. Some have already sealed half-yearly contracts for the auto segment; others are in the process of finishing them.
  • The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is planning to issue land bonds to pay for acquiring land from states or other stakeholders, as part of a funding mechanism amid escalating land acquisition and compensation cost. Through this mechanism, the NHAI will not have to make upfront payments for land acquisition.
  • Some “cracks” have surfaced on the highways on hybrid annuity model (HAM) with smaller developers finding financial closure of projects tough, rating agency Crisil said. Launched in early 2016, the model had expedited road construction schemes and resulted in execution of a large number of projects.
  • The Andhra Pradesh government has amended its solar and wind power policies, effectively taking more control over setting tariffs from such power generation units. According to industry sources, the move would create further confusion in the investment environment in the renewable energy sector in the state.
  • Deleting older provisions, the new order mandates that the transmission and distribution charges for wheeling power would be determined by the state power regulator.
  • India is looking to lower advance payments and offer larger mining blocks to attract global companies to invest in its coal sector for the first time, but industry sources say the measures may not be enough to draw in big international miners.
  • Vinod Kumar Tiwari, additional secretary at India’s Ministry of Coal, told the government was looking to reduce the upfront payments of around 10% of the estimated value of blocks that have been awarded.
  • Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi said the government was also looking to make investing in coal more attractive to bidders by carving out bigger blocks, and was readying a policy to attract foreign investors to its coal industry.
  • HeidelbergCement Group announced that it is looking for acquisitions, taking up some brownfield expansions and giving a stronger push for ‘Zuari’ brand in the South.
  • The Group, which comprises two cement companies-HeidelbergCement India which has a capacity of 5.4 million tonnes and primarily operates in Central India, and Zuari Cement, which has a total capacity of 7.2 million tonnes, is scouting for acquisitions, particularly outside South India.