• Utilisation levels of many thermal power plants would fall to 35-40% if the country sets up 130 gigawatt (GW) of renewable energy capacity by 2022, a latest report by KPMG India has pointed out.
  • China and the United States have agreed to cancel in phases the tariffs imposed during their months-long trade war, the Chinese commerce ministry said, without specifying a timetable.
  • An interim US-China trade deal is widely expected to include a US pledge to scrap tariffs scheduled for December 15 on about $156 billion worth of Chinese imports, including cell phones, computers and toys.
  • Excessive compensation payments for land acquired for roads, rise in construction and compensation claims and building of roads where traffic is not available, has led to national highways roads becoming a severely financial unviable proposition, former power secretary Subhash Chandra Garg said.
  • Road infrastructure investment has the biggest spin-offs in terms of boosting economic activity and social advancement, Garg said.
  • Expansion of road network at all levels- national, state, districts and villages, is vital for national growth as well as for all round well-being of all people.
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman may announce rationalisation of tax slabs for the salaried class in the next Budget to boost consumption. The slab rationalisation exercise will cost the exchequer Rs 70,000-80,000 crore.
  • Credit rating agency Crisil has predicted that revenue growth for engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) road companies is likely to halve through FY21. However, their credit profiles will sustain on the basis of healthy order books and strong balance sheets.
  • Following its findings of 75 companies, Crisil said road developers in the EPC segment could see revenue growth halve in financial years 2020 and 2021 to 15%, compared with 30% in financial year 2019.
  • The decline would be largely due to slower awarding of projects and delayed receipt of appointed date, which is the zero date or kick-off date for start of a project received from the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).
  • After announcing earlier that India had exited the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) pact, the Ministry of External Affairs has now said that if the country gets a firm indication that its core concerns would get addressed by other members, it could consider taking a further decision on the matter.