New Delhi: Industry body Assocham has urged the newly appointed Minister of State for Power Jyotiraditya Scindia to resolve the fuel issues that are affecting power generation in the country.
Assocham President Rajkumar N Dhoot said, "The new Power Minister (Scindia) should give top priority to this aspect. We urge the young minister to immediately resolve the coal linkage issue so that billions of dollars spent on creating new power generation capacity is put to use."
He added that till the domestic production is increased, the country must encourage coal imports. "Imports of essential raw material like coal will only help add value to the Indian economy," he said.
Against the coal requirement for thermal power generation of 476 million tonnes in 2012-13, indigenous supplies may be only 407 million tonnes, requiring the balance to be met through imports.
"The point has been well highlighted by the Reserve Bank as well which underscored the need for revival of investment sentiment in the infrastructure sector. It pointed out that demand-supply gap in coal is projected to rise further during the Twelfth Plan," Dhoot said.
New plants that have been commissioned on the basis of coal linkage are facing severe constraints in the absence of committed Fuel Supply Agreements (FSAs), the RBI had stated.
Dhoot said Assocham, alongwith the Power Minister, would urge Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal to give utmost importance to increasing the fuel production.
"Coal India must also be held accountable for achieving the production targets. Whatever the issues with the power producers must be resolved at the earliest," he added.
"Net-net, the sector is under a severe stress and must be given the critical importance," he noted.
First Published: Thursday, November 01, 2012, 16:10