Coal ministry sources said this has been done keeping in mind the growing requirements from core sector industries that have started facing acute coal shortages lately.
As per the coal linkages approved by the government for the first quarter period, cement, steel and power sectors would get 91.2 million tonne of coal at notified prices, an increase of 4.8 mt.
Of the approved linkage the power sector would be given the bulk of coal to the tune of 78.66 mt. This is about 3 mt more than linkage approved for the same period of current fiscal year.
The captive power plants have been approved coal linkages of 5.4 mt, captive power plants of cement units 0.87 mt, captive power plants of steel units 2.16 mt.
Countrys prime coal producer Coal India Limited (CIL) plans to increase coal under linkage to power sector to 271 mt during 2006-07. This is a marginal jump from current years CIL production of 254 mt for the power sector.