The coal ministry is trying to take state governments on board to ensure coal supply to small buyers consuming less than 4,200 tonne per annum and who doesn’t come under any fuel supply pact with Coal India (CIL).
A coal ministry official told FE that the ministry has asked CIL to hold meetings with the state governments so that the state-designated agencies, which have signed FSAs with the CIL subsidiaries, fulfil their obligation of lifting the entire amount earmarked for supplies to MSMEs. Such consumers should not have to look for unauthorised route to get coal.
A CIL spokesperson said that the company has already held meetings with various state governments and have discussed threadbare the details of coal supplies to MSMEs to assess the problems of small consumers and find remedial measures.
CIL earmarks about 8 million tonne of coal annually for selling at notified prices to the MSMEs, which constitute brick kilns, food processing industry, lime factories, smokeless fuel plants and coke oven units. In line with the new coal distribution policy, consumers in small and medium sectors having annual requirement of less than 4,200 tonne per annum are supposed to get coal through state-nominated agencies. Considering the large number of MSME consumers, the CIL subsidiaries enter into bi-lateral FSAs with state government nominated agencies, who in turn distribute the coal to MSME consumers as per their requirements, the CIL spokesperson said.
In most of the cases there are limited supplies from the state agencies and small consumers mostly have to depend on unauthorised coal taken out from illegal mines across the country, a consumer unwilling to disclose his identity, said.