Coal ministry unveils plan
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Coal ministry unveils plan to produce 1,404 MT per annum




The Union Ministry of Coal said it has plans to produce 1,404 million metric tonnes (MT) of coal by the year 2027 and 1,577 MT by the year 2030, at the current level of production of about 1,000 MT per annum.
The coal to be supplied to domestic coal-based power plants is around 821 MT for the current year.
In a release, the ministry stated it has taken note of the additional coal requirement for supplying an additional 80 gigawatt thermal capacity to be added in the country by 2030.
The coal requirement for additional thermal capacity would be around 400 MT at an 85 percent plant load factor (PLF), and the actual requirement may be lower depending on the generation requirements in the coming years due to contributions from renewable sources.
“The Ministry of Coal has plans to produce an additional quantity of coal in its production enhancement plan and will ensure adequate availability of domestic coal to thermal power plants,” the ministry’s release said.
The production plan includes the opening of new mines, the expansion of mine capacity, and production from captive or commercial mines.
“The production plans for years 2027 and 2030 will far exceed the likely domestic requirement of thermal power plants in the country, including that for likely additional capacity.”
Coming to the coal situation for the current year, the ministry said stocks have started building up, and the coal stock at the thermal power plants is now around 20 MT and at the mines it is 41.59 MT. The total stock (including transit and captive mines) is 73.56 MT as compared to 65.56 MT during last year, showing growth of 12 percent year-on-year.
The Ministries of Coal, Power, and Railways are working in close coordination, and accordingly, smooth coal supplies have been maintained so far.
In other news, the Ministry of Coal is gearing up for the launch of the 8th round of auctions for commercial coal mines on Wednesday, taking a step forward towards making India self-reliant on coal.
The coal sector opened for commercial coal mining in 2020, with the first-ever successful auctions of commercial mining launched in June 2020. Since then, the ministry has conducted seven rounds of auctions, and 91 mines have been auctioned, with a peak rated capacity of 221 million tonnes per year, another release from the ministry stated.

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DMK questions TN Governor’s Bill delay



The delay in disposing of bills by Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi has come under severe scrutiny, prompting criticism from DMK leader TKS Elangovan. Elangovan emphasized the governor’s responsibility to safeguard democracy, not obstruct it, stating, “The governor’s role is to uphold democracy; he is a part of it, not to undermine it.” He highlighted the importance of governors accepting bills passed by the legislative assembly unless there are legal issues, asserting that the elected government should decide, as the people hold them accountable.

The Supreme Court, addressing the delay in disposing of pending bills, questioned the governor’s actions. A three-judge bench, led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, sought an explanation for the prolonged delay, noting that various bills were cleared only after the court’s intervention. The court expressed concern over the bills pending since January 2020, cleared after the court’s order in November 2021, questioning the governor’s inaction over the past three years.

The court further questioned why the governor waited for the Supreme Court’s intervention and adjourned the matter till December 1. Despite clarification from the Attorney General that the present governor assumed office in November 2021, the court remained unconvinced. Additionally, it was revealed that the Assembly re-passed the ten bills in a special session on November 18. The court will revisit the matter on December 1.

The Supreme Court’s examination of the delayed bill disposals by Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi has intensified scrutiny over gubernatorial roles in upholding democratic processes. The DMK’s strong criticism highlights the significance of the governor’s responsibility in fostering democratic principles, resonating with concerns echoed in the judicial inquiry.

The court’s pointed interrogation concerning the substantial duration of pending bills and their clearance only post the court’s intervention underscores a potential issue with the governor’s administrative timeline. The judiciary’s insistence on accountability emphasizes the critical role of timely decision-making by constitutional authorities to prevent undue obstructions in legislative processes.

The adjournment of the case till December 1 signifies the court’s commitment to overseeing the resolution of the bill delay issue. This continued judicial oversight underscores the significance of constitutional responsibilities, aiming to ensure the smooth functioning of democratic institutions in the state and uphold the principles of legislative efficiency and governance.

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CM Adityanath and Mayawati extend Chhath Puja wishes to UP



A number of political figures, including BSP leader Mayawati and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, sent greetings to the state’s populace on the occasion of Chhath Puja.

“Happy Chhath, the great festival of sun worship and folk faith! Best wishes and heartfelt congratulations to all the devotees and people of the state!” With the holy blessings of Lord Bhaskar and Chhathi Maiya, it is (my) hope that the entire world be lit with the light of happiness, prosperity, and good fortune. In a post on X, Adityanath praised Chhathi Maiya. Former state chief minister Mayawati while wishing the people of the state on the occasion of Chhath Puja said she prays to nature that she fulfils everyone’s wishes for a better life.

“Hearty congratulations and best wishes to the countrymen on Chhath Puja/festival. On this occasion, we pray to nature that she fulfills everyone’s wishes for a better life,” she said in a post on X.

Deputy chief ministers Keshav Prasad Maurya and Brajesh Pathak also extended their greetings to the people of the state.

“Hearty congratulations and best wishes to the entire country and people of the state on Chhath Puja, the holy festival of worship of Sun God and folk faith. May Lord Surya Dev and Chhathi Maiya keep you all healthy, provide you with health and bless you with happiness, prosperity and prosperity,” Maurya said in a post on X.

“Hearty congratulations and best wishes to the entire country and people of the state on the holy festival of worship of Sun God and folk faith,” Pathak wrote on the social media platform.

Extending Chhath greetings to the people of the state, Aam Aadmi Party leader Shekhar Dixit said in a post on X, “Best wishes on the occasion of Chhath Puja, the great festival of folk faith. May Lord Surya always illuminate your life with his energy and may his blessings always be upon you.” The Samajwadi Party and the Congress’ Uttar Pradesh unit also wished the people on the occasion of Chhath Puja. The four-day festival, in which worshippers, both men and women, fast and pay obeisance to the deity on the last two days, began on Friday with ‘nahai-khai’ in which devotees usually bath at ghats and perform Chhath rituals. On Saturday, the devotees observed ‘kharna’ and cooked ‘kheer’ which is eaten by the family members and others as ‘prasad’. They will offer evening ‘arghya’ (prayers) to the Sun God on Sunday. The festival will end on Monday with the devotees offering morning ‘arghya’ to the rising Sun.

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Union Minister Puri claims cheaper petrol in Rajasthan ahead of polls



Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, if the BJP wins the November 25 Assembly elections, petrol prices in Rajasthan will drop by at least Rs 11.80 per liter.

The Union Petroleum Minister remarked, “I am being asked what will change in the state if the BJP comes to power in Rajasthan,” while speaking at a polling event on Saturday in the state capital of Jaipur. First off, I have no doubts that the BJP will form the government in this place. And as soon as we take office, we’ll aim to get petrol prices in Rajasthan on par with the national average (except from states controlled by the opposition). In Rajasthan, a gallon of petrol will cost us at least Rs 11.80 less if we are elected
Puri alleged that the price of petrol in Rajasthan was the highest in the country because of the additional cess imposed by the Congress government in the state.
He added that the Congress government in Rajasthan collected Rs 35,975 crore from additional levies on petrol and diesel over the last couple of years.
“In the last two years, the Rajasthan government collected taxes worth Rs 35,975 crore from additional cess on petrol and diesel till November 2021-2022 and 2022-2023. Rajasthan alone collected Rs 2000 crore more than 18 other states and Union Territories taken together,” Puri said.
The Union Minister added when compared to 18 states and Union Territories, the tax collection from additional cess on fuel is significantly high.
“The tax collection of these 18 states and union territories, including Delhi, Uttarakhand, Nagaland, Lakshadweep, Manipur, Ladakh, Daman and Diu, Jammu and Kashmir, is Rs 32,597 crore,” Puri was quoted as saying in a release from the Jaipur event.
“Today, the average rate of petrol across the country is Rs 96.72 per litre, but in Ganganagar, Rajasthan, the going rate for petrol is Rs 113.34 per litre,” Puri said in poll-bound Rajasthan.
Hitting back at Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot over his statement that the central government was imposing more taxes on petrol and diesel, Puri said the former should look into affairs in his own state first.
The counting of votes for the Rajasthan Assembly will be held on December 3.
In the 2018 assembly elections, the Congress won 99 seats, while the BJP finished at 73 seats in the 200-member House. Gehlot eventually took the oath as CM with the support of BSP MLAs and Independent legislators.

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ETC urges swift decline in fossil fuel use



A recent report from the Energy Transitions Commission (ETC) underscores the urgent need for a significant reduction in fossil fuel usage to meet the goals outlined in the COP21 Paris Agreement. Titled “Fossil Fuels in Transition: Committing to the phase-down of all fossil fuels,” the report emphasizes the necessity of cutting down coal, oil, and gas usage by a substantial margin before 2050, advocating for immediate action to initiate this reduction.

According to the report, curbing fossil fuel-related emissions is critical to limit global warming effectively. Failure to achieve net-zero emissions from fossil fuels by mid-century will significantly impede the objectives set in the Paris Agreement. Therefore, the upcoming COP28 is urged to secure global consensus on the rapid decline of both the demand for and supply of fossil fuels.

The report highlights that while reducing emissions directly associated with fossil fuel production and transportation is crucial, approximately 80% of fossil-related emissions stem from their usage. It stresses the need to swiftly diminish both demand for and supply of all fossil fuels. By 2050, coal consumption should decrease by 80-85%, gas by 55-70%, and oil by 75-95% from 2022 levels, with immediate reductions required by 2030.

Adair Turner, Chair of the Energy Transitions Commission, emphasized that addressing climate change requires firm commitments to phase out the use and supply of fossil fuels. While cuts in direct emissions are essential, they fall short of what’s needed to limit global warming.

Technological advancements, the report argues, make reducing fossil fuel usage technically and economically viable. With renewable energy, batteries, electric vehicles (EVs), and heat pumps advancing faster than anticipated, a clear path to nearly complete decarbonization across various economic sectors, including heavy industry and long-distance transport, is apparent.

However, the report stresses the necessity of stronger policies to expedite the deployment of zero-carbon technologies and supporting infrastructure. These measures encompass carbon pricing, technology support, and bans on the sale of new fossil fuel assets, such as internal combustion engines or fossil-based boilers.

Ita Kettleborough, Director at the Energy Transitions Commission, asserted that carbon capture and storage (CCUS) and removals play vital but limited roles in achieving net-zero emissions. They should complement rapid fossil fuel reduction efforts rather than serve as substitutes.

Furthermore, the report underlines the need to drastically reduce investments in fossil fuel supply. It insists that to limit global warming to 1.5°C, a considerable portion of oil, gas, and coal reserves should remain untapped. It calls for a substantial decline in fossil fuel supply investment by 2030 and 2040, advocating for strict restrictions on new oil and gas developments.

The report’s key recommendations advocate for COP28 to commit to a rapid phase-down of fossil fuel use and urge governments, fossil fuel companies, and financial institutions to align their strategies with the report’s outlined reductions and limitations on fossil fuel exploration and exploitation.

The report, developed in collaboration with various industry, financial, and environmental organizations, reflects a collective perspective of the Energy Transitions Commission. It emphasizes that while the members endorse the report’s core arguments, not every finding or recommendation may align with individual affiliations.

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Atul Punj to lead IBSFINtech’s expansion



IBSFINtech, a prominent global enterprise providing TreasuryTech solutions, has recently appointed Atul Punj as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of IBSFINtech USA Inc. This strategic decision underlines the company’s commitment to expanding globally and offering cutting-edge Treasury Management solutions (TMS) to corporations on a worldwide scale.

With a career spanning over three decades, Atul Punj, a seasoned industry veteran, is poised to lead IBSFINtech’s expansion in the Americas and Canada region. His extensive experience encompasses various domains, including significant contributions in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Southeast Asia, garnered from prestigious organizations such as IBM, Wipro, and Birlasoft.

Atul Punj’s appointment signifies a strategic move towards solidifying IBSFINtech’s position as a distinguished player in the financial technology industry, particularly in the realm of Treasury Management Solutions. His leadership aims to steer the company towards becoming a trusted entity in the global financial landscape by leveraging cutting-edge technologies and fostering strong partnerships.

Expressing his enthusiasm about this venture, Atul Punj highlighted the significance of entering the US market and emphasized the company’s commitment to revolutionizing global treasury operations. He emphasized the pivotal role of their fully digitized corporate finance platform, the TMS, in empowering US corporates with real-time insights, compliance enhancement, and optimized performance.

CM Grover, MD & CEO of IBSFINtech, expressed excitement about Atul Punj’s addition to the leadership team, citing his proven track record in leadership and diverse skill set as aligning perfectly with the company’s growth vision. This strategic move also includes the establishment of a wholly owned subsidiary in the US, marking a pivotal milestone in IBSFINtech’s global journey.

Atul Punj’s appointment signifies a strong step towards consolidating IBSFINtech’s standing as a global player in the financial technology space. His commitment to innovation and transformation aligns with the company’s ambitions for expansion and growth in the dynamic TreasuryTech landscape.

Atul Punj’s leadership role in steering IBSFINtech’s entry into the US market reflects the company’s pursuit of broader horizons in transforming corporate financial operations. His vision emphasizes leveraging technological advancements to redefine treasury functions, aligning them with the evolving demands of today’s business landscape. This move aims to introduce a fully digitalized corporate finance platform, catering to corporations of varying sizes and enhancing their capabilities for informed decision-making.

The decision to establish a wholly owned subsidiary in the US underscores IBSFINtech’s commitment to providing comprehensive Treasury Management Solutions (TMS) and cutting-edge technologies to corporations in the American region. It represents a strategic step to tap into the immense potential and opportunities available in the US market, enabling IBSFINtech to engage with businesses across sectors and deliver innovative financial technology solutions.

Atul Punj’s appointment as the CEO for the Americas comes at a crucial juncture as the company solidifies its position in India and aims for robust global expansion. His wealth of experience and track record in driving transformative initiatives positions IBSFINtech strategically to navigate the intricacies of the TreasuryTech industry, contributing to its continued growth trajectory.

Moreover, his emphasis on adaptability and innovation echoes IBSFINtech’s ethos of embracing change and staying at the forefront of technological advancements. With Atul Punj at the helm, the company endeavours to not only establish a significant presence in the US but also reinforce its global footprint, solidifying its status as a leading player in the financial technology domain.

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Israel-Gaza conflict may hike commodity prices



The enduring conflict between Israel and Hamas, spanning over seven decades, continues to cast a profound and lasting impact across the Middle East. In recent times, heightened hostilities have led to significant casualties on both sides, triggered by a series of assaults initiated by Hamas on Israeli towns on October 7. This has resulted in a robust military response from Israel, exacerbating the devastation. However, the repercussions of this conflict have reverberated globally, sparking protests in several Western nations and carrying substantial economic implications.

The World Bank has cautioned that the escalating Israel-Gaza conflict may disrupt crude oil supplies, potentially pushing oil prices to an unprecedented peak of $157 per barrel. This prediction mirrors the 1973 Arab oil embargo crisis, suggesting a potential global supply shrinkage of six to eight million barrels per day. Such a cut in supply could trigger a significant surge in prices, impacting economies worldwide.

Under a moderately severe “medium disruption” scenario similar to the impact of the 2003 Iraq war, the reduction in supply might range from three to five million barrels per day, driving prices to hover between $109 and $121 per barrel. Despite these concerning scenarios, the World Bank’s baseline forecast is somewhat more optimistic, projecting oil prices to average $90 per barrel this quarter, declining to $81 next year in the event of a global economic downturn. Investment banks like Goldman Sachs and UBS anticipate stable oil prices ranging from $90 to $100 per barrel over the next twelve months.

Beyond oil, other commodities are also affected. In times of conflict, gold, often considered a safe-haven asset, garners increased interest among traders seeking to capitalize on its appeal, despite the inherent riskiness of CFD trading. However, heightened attention from traders can lead to increased volatility, diminishing its status as a safe-haven asset.

The conflict has had dire repercussions on local businesses in Gaza, where employment has plummeted by 61% since the hostilities began, resulting in a loss of approximately 182,000 jobs, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO). The economic fallout extends to the occupied West Bank, experiencing a 24% job loss, equating to about 208,000 jobs, due to the conflict’s spillover effects. Daily income losses in these territories amount to an estimated $16 million, painting a grim outlook for their economies.

Conversely, in the Israeli town of Sderot near the Gaza Strip, businesses persist despite the conflict. However, they face the arduous task of repairing war damages and protecting their workforce. While both economies are affected, the economic toll in Gaza is significantly more severe.

Examining another geopolitical event, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022 caused substantial disruptions in global commodity markets. The conflict led to immediate interruptions in oil and gas supplies, notably impacting Europe, heavily reliant on Russian energy. This situation heightened tensions in energy markets, causing prices to rise as countries sought alternative sources.

The conflict in Ukraine also severely affected grain markets, given Ukraine’s significant role as a major exporter of wheat and corn. Blockages at Ukrainian ports by Russian forces resulted in price spikes and concerns over global food shortages, impacting industries reliant on agricultural commodities.

Furthermore, prices of metals like aluminium and palladium surged due to Russia’s key role as a producer. Sanctions and logistical challenges further constrained their global supply.

While Israel’s exports differ from those of Russia or Ukraine, with tech startups being more adaptable, the Middle East was poised for normalization and improved relations before the recent conflicts. The disruptions have further destabilized regional markets.

In essence, conflicts like the Israel-Gaza clash and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine serve as poignant reminders of how geopolitical tensions can reverberate through economies, affecting commodity prices and straining global markets. The resilience of businesses amid such tumult emphasizes the intricate interplay between conflict, commerce, and speculation that shapes our world.

The escalating conflict between Israel and Gaza has stirred profound concerns beyond the immediate region. The potential disruptions to crude oil supplies and the resultant fluctuations in oil prices have sparked worries about broader economic impacts globally. The World Bank’s cautionary predictions paint a stark picture of the vulnerabilities faced by economies worldwide in the face of geopolitical tensions.

This conflict-induced volatility doesn’t confine its impact to the oil market alone. The escalation often triggers a ripple effect across various commodity markets, influencing not just prices but also market sentiments and investment behaviours. Gold, historically sought after as a safe-haven asset in times of unrest, becomes subject to increased speculation and trading activities, potentially compromising its perceived stability.

The implications of the Israel-Gaza conflict on local economies are distressingly tangible. The catastrophic loss of jobs in Gaza and the economic ripple felt in the West Bank underscore the humanitarian toll. The region’s economic struggles, compounded by pre-existing challenges like high unemployment rates, paint a daunting trajectory for recovery.

Turning to the fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the impact on commodity markets serves as a stark illustration of the domino effect in global economics. The conflict’s disruptions, particularly in oil and grain markets, highlight the vulnerabilities of a globally interconnected trade system and the cascading effects of conflicts on essential commodities. As these conflicts unfold, the intricate web of interdependencies across various markets becomes increasingly apparent, underscoring the fragility of global economic stability in times of strife.

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