The Telegraph
Wednesday , December 26 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Push for coal price pooling

New Delhi, Dec. 25 (PTI): A note on the pooling of prices of locally produced and imported coal is likely to be placed before the cabinet committee on economic affairs (CCEA) next month.

“It was further agreed that the note on pooled prices would be placed for the CCEA’s consideration by the third week of January,” said the minutes of the meeting, which was held recently under the chairmanship of principal secretary to Prime Minister Pulok Chatterji.

The meeting was attended by coal secretary S.K. Srivastava and power secretary Uma Shankar.

The Planning Commission had earlier said that to offset the impact of high import costs, Coal India should adopt a pooling formula on prices by combining the rates of imported and domestic coal.

During the meeting, Chatterji was informed that the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) had worked out the details of the proposed pooling.

The power secretary told the principal secretary that his ministry would soon send the details of the scheme to the coal ministry.

“Upon receipt of the details of the proposed scheme from the power ministry, a note for the CCEA shall be prepared by the coal ministry,” the minutes of the meeting said.

Several state governments, including Bengal and Odisha, have opposed the CEA proposal on price pooling.

The Odisha government had opposed it saying it was not relevant to the power generating firms located very close to coal mines.

The Bengal government has conveyed to Coal India that such a mechanism was not acceptable to it.

The PMO had in October asked Coal India and the CEA to work on the mechanism.

Last month, the government had said Coal India and the CEA were reworking the mechanism and would submit the revised scheme to the power ministry.