Mining Current Affairs - 2019

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Cabinet approves loan waiver of worth Rs.4 Cr against Sikkim Mining Corporation

Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved waiver of repayment of loan and interest thereon, of nearly worth Rs.4 crore outstanding against Sikkim Mining Corporation (SMC) including interest accrued on total amount from 1 April 2019, till this approval outstanding against SMC. CCEA is chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Benefit: Further, accumulation of interest on principal loan will get extinguished and liquidation process of Corporation will get completed.

About Sikkim Mining Corporation (SMC)

It was established on the 27 February 1960 as Joint Venture (JV) undertaking of Government of Sikkim and Centre Government. SMC has been incurring losses every year since its inception.

Background: To optimise the financial health of SMC, a Consultant was engaged in 1999 which among other things suggested diversification of Corporation’s activities and also strengthening of technical staff in conjunction with cutting down of excess manpower at lower levels. However, in 2003, keeping in view the recurring losses incurred by SMC, recommendation of Accountant General of Sikkim as well as advice tendered by erstwhile Planning Commission both partners of JVC (State & Central Government) engaged a Consultant to spell out a road map for SMC’s future. Then on the basis of Consultants’s report & 107th Report of Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of State Legislative Assembly of Sikkim, State and Central Governments decided to close down SMC’s mining operations and to settle all its dues and liabilities. Consequently, SMC’s mining operations at Bhotang and Phachey Khani mines were closed down with effect from 1 January 2007. Liabilities towards employees of corporation were settled from amount release by erstwhile Planning Commission and Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region. Liabilities of the Corporation towards State Government of Sikkim were waived off by State Government of Sikkim and amount accrued from sale of scraps of machineries of corporation was returned to Government of India.

Industrial production growth slows to 1.7% in January 2019

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has released the data for the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) for the month of January. The IIP data shows that:

  • Industrial output growth stood at 1.7 per cent in January against the 2.6% growth recorded in December 2018.
  • The CSO has revised the industrial production growth for December 2018 has been revised upwards from 2.4% to 2.6%.
  • The growth of output of manufacturing sector moderated to 1.3% and the electricity generation rose a mere 0.8% in January 2019.
  • The mining output rebounded 3.9% in January 2019, snapping 1% decline in December 2018.
  • Capital goods output declined 3.2% in January 2019 and the output of intermediate goods also fell by 3.0% in January 2019.
  • The output of primary goods increased by 1.4%, while that of infrastructure/ construction goods moved up 7.9% in January 2019 when compared to January 2018.
  • The output of consumer durables moved up 1.8%, while that of consumer non-durable durables also rose 3.8% in January 2019 when compared to January 2018.
  • Eleven out of the twenty-three industry groups in the manufacturing sector have shown positive growth during the month of January 2019 as compared to January 2018.
  • The cumulative industrial production increased by 4% in April-January FY2019 compared with 4.1% growth in April-January FY2018.
  • The manufacturing sector growth has improved to 4.4% in April-January FY2019 from 4.2% growth in the corresponding period last year.
  • The electricity generation output growth also improved to 5.8%, while mining output growth accelerated to 5.3% in April-January FY2019.

Index of Industrial Production

Index of Industrial Production (IIP) is a composite indicator that measures the changes in the volume of production of a basket of industrial products during a given period with respect to the volume of production in a chosen base period. The base year for the IIP is 2011-12.