COAL SUPPLY TO POWER PLANTS TO BE NORMAL SOON, SAYS PIYUSH GOYAL
Coal Minister Piyush Goyal assured that power plants will get adequate coal supplies by the end of the month or early October as the government is taking urgent measures to resolve the supply issues. About a dozen power plants have been facing erratic coal supplies for a month or so, and the minister blamed the states and power plant operators for the crisis.
"We are taking urgent measures to step up coal supply to power stations. Coal supplies to power stations across the country will be normalised by the end of September or early October," Goyal told the Indo-american Chamber of Commerce after the chamber's president, N Srinivasan, flagged the issue of the depleting stock of coal at power stations.
"Instead of the buffer stock of 30-40 days, most power stations are having a stock for only two to three days," said Srinivasan.
The minister pointed out that though the Union coal secretary had written to all the chief secretaries urging them to impress upon power stations to start stocking coal, this plea fell on deaf ears.
He blamed the surge in coal demand to the steep fall in power generation from other sources like hydel, nuclear and other sources which declined by 12, 36 and 7 per cent respectively, last month. On whether the government would restore the coal cess, which got subsumed into GST, Goyal said the coal cess was introduced with the twin objectives of to fund and promote renewable energy and for fair pricing of thermal power generation.