• The government is working on a plan to allow cash-strapped power plants to use their existing fuel supplies from Coal India Limited (CIL) to generate electricity for sale in the open market. Due to low electricity demand during the lockdown, distribution utilities have stopped power offtake and are unlikely to issue new medium-and long-term tenders for purchase of electricity.
  • Coal India will produce less coal and remove more topsoil at mines in an effort to manage rapidly increasing stocks. It will help reduce current production rates and enable ramping up supplies at short notices when demand rises after lockdown is withdrawn.
  • The Ministry of Home Affairs has allowed the construction of renewable energy projects in its revised guidelines regarding lockdown measures to be taken by ministries and departments in a bid to contain the COVID-19 epidemic in the country.
  • The producers’ rate of inflation has come down to 1% in March as against 2.26% in February and 3.10% during March last year.

  • In a relief to lockdown-hit cement-makers, Andhra Pradesh Government has commenced the process cement procurement by launching a dedicated portal.
  • The online platform, YSR Nirman, has been developed to help various departments of the State Government to procure cement from suppliers for Government works such as Polavaram irrigation project, housing and roads. The portal will also display availability of cement demand and supply on a real-time basis. This was disclosed by T Vijaya Kumar Reddy, Commissioner, Information & Public Relations Department, and Member, State Level Task Force Committee.
  • Amid projection of sharp contraction in the global economy, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) cut India’s GDP (Gross Domestic Products) growth rate to 1.9% in fiscal year 2020-21 starting April 1. However, GDP growth rate is estimated to jump to 7.4% during 2021-22.