Coal In­dia hikes prices, power pro­duc­ers see rise in tar­iffs

Millennium Post - - BUSINESS -

NEW DELHI: State-run Coal In­dia on Tues­day hiked ther­mal coal prices for both power and non-power con­sumers with im­me­di­ate ef­fect, a de­ci­sion which elec­tric­ity pro­duc­ers said would jack up en­ergy prices by up to Rs 0.50 per unit.

Sources in­di­cated that the av­er­age price hike could be around 10 per cent but the In­dian Cap­tive Power Pro­duc­ers As­so­ci­a­tion claimed that the hike is in the range of 15-20 per cent for G-11 and G-14 grade fuel which would make power costlier by Rs 0.30-0.50 per unit.

The board of Coal In­dia Ltd in its meet­ing ap­proved re­vi­sion of non-cok­ing coal prices with ef­fect from Jan­uary 9, 2018, Coal In­dia (CIL) said in a fil­ing to BSE, with­out dis­clos­ing the quan­tum of in­crease.

The price re­vi­sion will re­sult in an in­cre­men­tal rev­enue of Rs 1,956 crore for the re­main­ing pe­riod of 2017-18 fis­cal while to­tal rev­enue will be Rs 6,421 crore, Coal In­dia said.

The price hike will be ap­pli­ca­ble to "all sub­sidiaries of Coal In­dia, in­clud­ing NEC for reg­u­lated and non-reg­u­lated sec­tors", the fil­ing said.

Power pro­duc­ers, how­ever, said the price hike will in­crease elec­tric­ity tar­iffs.

"This in­crease for G-11 and G-14 grade (coal) is in the range of 15-20 per cent...it is ex­pected that the coal price in­crease would re­sult in 30-50 paise/per unit rise in power tar­iff," In­dian Cap­tive Power Pro­duc­ers As­so­ci­a­tion (ICPPA) Sec­re­tary Ra­jiv Agrawal said.

This in­crease, he said, is over and above 12-18 per cent in­di­rect price in­crease by in­tro­duc­tion of evac­u­a­tion charge (Rs 50 per tonne), siz­ing charge and sur­face trans­porta­tion charge.

"For global com­pet­i­tive­ness, en­ergy prices has to come down whereas the na­tion is be­ing bur­dened by in­ef­fec­tive­ness of Coal In­dia, its man­power, cost struc­ture and losses," he ex­plained.

Ac­cord­ing to As­so­ci­a­tion of Power Pro­duc­ers, ther­mal coal price rise would amount to power tar­iff hike of 25 to 30 paise per unit. NEW DELHI: The dis­in­vest­ment process for Air In­dia is pro­ceed­ing ex­pe­di­tiously, a se­nior govern­ment of­fi­cial said on Tues­day amid sug­ges­tions in cer­tain quar­ters not to move ahead with the stake sale for now.

A group of min­is­ters is in the process of fi­nal­is­ing the con­tours for the pro­posed strate­gic stake sale in the na­tional car­rier and ex­pres­sion of in­ter­est is likely to be in­vited from bid­ders soon.

Debt-laden Air In­dia is stay­ing afloat on tax­pay­ers' money.

"The process of dis­in­vest­ment is pro­ceed­ing ex­pe­di­tiously," Civil Avi­a­tion Sec­re­tary R N Choubey said.

His com­ments also come against the back­drop of a Par­lia­men­tary panel likely to tell the govern­ment that Air In­dia should be given at least five years to re­vive.

The Par­lia­men­tary Stand­ing Com­mit­tee on Trans­port, Tourism and Cul­ture con­cluded that the govern­ment should re­view its de­ci­sion to pri­va­tise or dis­in­vest Air In­dia and ex­plore the pos­si­bil­ity of "an al­ter­na­tive to dis­in­vest­ment of our na­tional car­rier which is our na­tional pride".

The panel is also un­der­stood to have con­cluded that the eq­uity in­fu­sion in the na­tional car­rier, as part of the turn­around plan (TAP), was made on a "piece meal ba­sis", ad­versely af­fect­ing its fi­nan­cial and op­er­a­tional per­for­mance and "forc­ing" the air­line to take loans "at a higher in­ter­est rate to meet the short­fall".

Sources said ex­pres­sion of in­ter­est for Air In­dia dis­in­vest­ment is likely to be is­sued by the govern­ment this month, pos­si­bly on Jan­uary 25.

How­ever, the ex­act date could not be in­de­pen­dently con­firmed. Queries sent in this re­gard to se­nior of­fi­cials at the civil avi­a­tion min­istry re­mained unan­swered.

Last year, the Cab­i­net Com­mit­tee on Eco­nomic Af­fairs (CCEA) gave its in-prin­ci­ple nod for the strate­gic dis­in­vest­ment of the air­line.

Un­der a turn­around plan ap­proved by the pre­vi­ous UPA regime, Air In­dia is to re­ceive up to Rs 30,231 crore from the govern­ment sub­ject to meet­ing cer­tain per­for­mance thresh­olds.

The ten-year bailout pack­age be­gan from 2012.

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