All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF) has urged the Prime Minister to direct the Ministry of Power to withdraw its orders on coal import in the light of coal minister Pralhad Joshi reply in the Rajya Sabha on Monday stating that there is no shortage of coal in the country and that production of coal is 31% more in the current financial year as compared to the same period last year.
Seeking the prime minister’s intervention in the matter, Shailendra Dubey, chairman AIPEF urged him to direct the ministry of power to withdraw its “coercive orders” to the states and its gencos, forcing them to expedite coal imports, which were “neither required nor justified”, especially in view of the ministry of coal’s reply in Parliament.
“Under the administrative coercion by the ministry of power, most of the state gencos as well as central sector thermal stations were forced to give consent for importing coal. But the coal minister’s reply to a starred question in Parliament stating that there is no shortage of coal in the country, as also that the all India coal production has gone up from 716.083 million tonne (MT) in 2020-21 to 778.19 MT in 2021-22 is proof that there is no shortage of coal,” Dubey has written, adding that the ministry of power must be asked to revoke and withdraw its order mandating 10% coal import.
“There is no reason why the centre should allow the high cost of imported coal to be loaded on the state gencos,” he said, demanding that the extra expenditure incurred by the generators for forcible import should be borne by the ministry of power.