Cabinet to take a view on price pooling: Chidambaram
New Delhi: Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Saturday said the Cabinet will take a view on price pooling of coal to address the fuel supply issue.
"Now I think a date is being fixed. The Minister of Power (Jyotiraditya Scindia) and the Minister of Coal (Sriprakash Jaiswal) and me are to meet together and then the Cabinet note will go. This is on the price pooling of coal," he told reporters here.
"It's only when imported coal and Indian coal is pooled and there is price pooling. This is the conclusion we have arrived at. It may be, Cabinet takes a different view," Chidambaram added.
Price pooling is averaging out the prices of domestic and imported coal.
The minister added that price pooling may assist in addressing the supply of fuel in a reasonably satisfactory manner.
"It is only where we pool the coal and have a price pool...It is only way we can address the supply of fuel linkage in reasonably satisfactory manner. Therefore, we are veering towards recommending price pooling and pooling of Indian coal and imported coal," he said.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs had in February approved in-principle the averaging of prices of domestic and imported coal to get a uniform feedstock price in the country, but asked coal and power ministries to come back with specifics of the proposal.
Prime Minister's Office had directed Coal India Ltd (CIL) and Central Electricity Authority (CEA) last year to work on price-pooling, so as to ensure 80 percent supplies to power plants.
However, the final decision on the issue was pending for long due to differences between the Coal and Power Ministries on how the impact of higher imported coal prices will be shared between CIL and power companies.