• India is in talks with Mongolia for either acquiring stakes in coking coal assets or sourcing the fuel used in the steel and metallurgical industry, said petroleum and natural gas minister Dharmendra Pradhan. He also said that the Centre wants to offer piped natural gas in Kolkata in the next one year.
  • In line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s proposal put forward in his Independence Day speech last August on turning every district into an export hub, the Commerce Ministry is planning to put in place an institutional structure for this and is collecting data for the same.
  • A plan for district-wise export hubs could be announced in the Budget to be presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1, an official told.
  • According to an official, Commerce Ministry officials will hold meetings with counterparts from the GST Network (GSTN) and ICEGATE to generate district-wise data on enterprises and exports.
  • Indian steel industry welcomed the government’s decision to promulgate an ordinance to open up coal mining in the country to non-coal companies. In a statement, apex steel industry body Indian Steel Association (ISA) said it hails the decision of the Cabinet to amend MMDR Act 1957 and Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act 2015.
  • Coal resources available to Coal India Ltd (CIL) has seen a boost of over 8.3 billion tonnes following allocation of 16 blocks by the Centre. The Maharatna PSU’s capacity now stands at 172 billion tonnes ; or around 54% of the country’s entire coal resource.
  • According to a statement by Coal India, the current coal resources under its fold will enable the company “to meet expanding coal demand to a considerable extent”.
  • Indian Railways plans to source about 1.2 GW power from renewable energy sources by 2021-22 across all zones and production units. Of this, about 1,000 MW, or 1 GW, would come from solar (and 200 MW from wind, it said in a statement issued. “South Central Railway is one of the zones actively implementing several measures aimed at energy conservation by harnessing renewable energy,” Indian Railways said.
  • India may just see a marginal recovery in economic growth, that will go up to 6.1% in 2022-23 (FY23), from the decade-low expansion projected at 5% for the current fiscal year, said the World Bank.