Govt plans fund for acquiring overseas coal assets

Faced with acute coal shortage,the government is planning to set up a fund,similar to a sovereign wealth fund,to acquire the fuel assets abroad.

Written by Agencies | New Delhi | Published: May 4, 2012 2:31 pm

Faced with acute coal shortage,the government is planning to set up a fund,similar to a sovereign wealth fund,to acquire the fuel assets abroad.

Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal today said even though Coal India Ltd (CIL) has surplus resources for investing outside,it is important to have financial support from the government for acquiring large assets abroad.

“To address the problem,government is proposing to create a fund on the line of sovereign wealth fund created in some countries,” he said at a CII conference.

Severe coal scarcity is hurting power companies as well as various other sectors. Last fiscal,the demand supply gap of coal was estimated to be 142 million tonne.

Jaiswal said the boards of PSU companies need to be proactive in matters related to foreign acquisition.

He said the coal regulatory bill is likely to come up before the cabinet next week.

On policy related to utilisation of surplus coal,the minister said,”it is likely (to be finalised) in 15 days or a month.

Further,Jaiswal noted that the auctioning of the coal blocks is likely to start in a month or two.

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