Coal India hikes prices, power producers see rise in tariffs
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.