The government plans to set up a fund for acquisition of coal assets abroad and urged public sector companies to be proactive in making decisions on foreign investments. Coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal said the fund would be on the lines of a sovereign wealth fund.|
“Acquisition of coal properties abroad has assumed large significance in recent times in view of the domestic production constraints and the growing demand for coal by different consuming sectors particularly, steel and power,” he said during a conference on coal organised by the CII (Confederation of Indian Industry).
Even though Coal India has surplus resources for investments outside, it would be important to have financial support from the government for acquisition of large assets abroad, he added.
Last fiscal year, the demand-supply gap of coal touched 142 million tonnes and CIL is eyeing overseas mines to narrow the gap. The shortage is projected to touch 200 million tonnes by 2016-17.
CIL, which accounts for over 80% of domestic coal production, is looking at Australia, South Africa, Mozambique, US and Indonesia for acquisitions.