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Small price rise on cards

business Updated: May 29, 2009 21:00 IST

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Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal has said the government may consider increasing the price of coal, depending on the economic situation. "With the changes in the economic scenario and price rise in products like petroleum, along with the impact of Sixth Pay Commission on Coal India Ltd, if required the coal prices could be increased," Jaiswal told reporters here after assuming office as Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Coal. "But for that (price hike), I have to speak with the Prime Minister," he said.

When asked about the quantum of price increase, the minister said, "If it happens it will be marginal."

Earlier this week, state-owned Coal India had said it is planning to increase prices of coal following a hike in wages and salaries of its employees, which has eaten into its bottom line. However, the company needs government approval for it. International coal prices are higher than those prevailing in India.

Jaiswal also said the Prime Minister has made a 100-day programme to boost the economy and the ministry will try to contribute to the programme by improving coal production and adopting efficient mining practices.

The ministry will also work on getting speedy environmental clearance and developing a model land acquisition policy, he added.