Coal Min to approach Cabinet on price pooling
A senior government official said talks on November 22 ended in a deadlock as the states argued that besides jacking up power prices it would also burden their exchequers.
West Bengal, in particular, has been a harsh critic of the proposed pooling mechanism. Orissa and Jharkhand have also opposed the move.
The opposition by these states come amid reservations expressed by Coal India Limitedís independent directors, who have argued that it would bleed CILís exchequer dry by Rs 60,000 crore in the next 20 years.
The Prime Ministerís Office, which has asked the coal ministry to approach the Union Cabinet on November 30 has also asked the power ministry to furnish inputs for a Cabinet note to help expedite its formulation. The PMO has instructed that the note should highlight in detail the pros and cons of adopting the price pooling method.
Besides, the states, ministries like Railways have also opposed the proposal. Coal-rich states primary contend that while such a mechanism would be ideal for power plants located in coastal areas, those located in the hinterlands or near the pitheads may not benefit from it.
They have told the CEA and the coal ministry that if implemented, the decision could jack up the average domestic coal prices by Rs 100 a tonne while a
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