HindustanTimes Mon,22 Dec 2014

Tackling power woes: Govt hints at fast track for coal links

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, June 21, 2014
First Published: 13:58 IST(21/6/2014) | Last Updated: 13:09 IST(22/6/2014)

Power and coal minister Piyush Goyal assured power producers on Friday that he will seek immediate environmental approvals to raise additional coal output from mines across India as an interim step to augment fuel supply for power generation.

Goyal met industrialists including Anil Ambani of Reliance Power Ltd; Naveen Jidal of Jindal Steel and Power; Gautam Adani of Adani Power; Vineet Mittal, managing director of Welspun Energy and executives of other power producers such as Essar Power, Lanco, GMR. The minister has asked Coal India Ltd to ramp up production from existing mines in order to meet fuel supplies for power developers, who are currently resorting to costly coal imports for fuelling their plants.

"I will request the environment ministry for clearances to enable additional mining from coal mines that are already operational," said Goyal.

"We have asked Coal India to expand coal production to the tune of 50-60% for all power companies. We need to enhance power availability in the country," added Goyal.

After the four-hour meeting with Goyal, private power producers also met finance minister Arun Jaitley and discussed tax concessions that could be provided to the industry in the forthcoming budget.

"We have explained our problems to them. They have assured us that they will seriously consider our issues and do whatever is possible to help growth of the sector," Jindal told reporters after the meeting with Jaitley.

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