Power minister Piyush Goyal on Friday asked Coal India to increase output by 50 per cent, reduce sale through e-auction and assured that he would ask the environment ministry to facilitate additional coal production by addressing the green barriers.
During a four-hour long meeting with the top brass of state-run and private electricity generating companies, Goyal said he has asked the environment ministry to facilitate additional output from the coal mines.
The Association of Power Producers (APP) had last month told the government that it is imperative to ensure parallel processing of environmental and forest clearances for power project and linked mines. The association contended that the way the environment ministry has de-linked environmental and forest clearances of the ultra mega power projects from its linked captive mines, similar dispensation should be extended to all power projects with integrated captive mines.
Goyal said that the environment ministry’s facilitation would generate a substantial amount of additional coal that can be mined at least as an interim measure till the government is able to sort out the problem which the sector has faced over the last five to six years.
He asked the Coal India to ensure supply of at 50-60 per cent of the fuel needs of its customers. He also asked the company to cut down sales through e-auctions and meet fuel supply standards, and allow third-party inspection of coal.
Among those who met Goyal include Reliance Power chairman Anil Ambani; Adani Group chairman Gautam Adani; Welspun Energy MD Vineet Mittal and Jindal Power chief Naveen Jindal. They pointed out that there is a need to boost the investors’ sentiment and also the lenders’ confidence.