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Web Exclusive | March 2013

Coal price pooling may be implemented next year

Lack of consensus between the power and coal ministries may delay the implementation of the pooled pricing of coal by one year, reports indicate. Thus, the mechanism may come into effect only from the next financial year.

Government sources reveal that the coal ministry is working towards implementing this pricing mechanism and a framework may be in place only by April 7. This would have to be again vetted by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) before implementation.

Both the ministries differ in their assessment of the shortfall of coal in the power industry. According to the power ministry, the shortfall of about 18-20 million tonne of coal for power sector was to be imported in 2012-13 and sold through pooling mechanism.This now would be rolled over to the next financial year.

But coal ministry claims that during the current fiscal Coal India (CIL) has been able to meet its annual contracted quantity (ACQ).

During April-December 2012, CIL supplied 11.1 per cent more coal to power plants at 246.78 million tonne (222.14 million tonne) compared to the corresponding period previous year.

The Ministries of Power and Coal had to implement this pricing mechanism in the current fiscal following the CCEA in-principle nod on February 5 to implement it.

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