New Delhi: The Coal Ministry on Wednesday said it has prepared a draft policy on utilisation of surplus coal from captive mines.
"We have prepared a policy (draft) on surplus coal and have circulated it (to the ministries for comments)," Coal Secretary S K Srivastava told reporters on the sidelines of a conference.
"A Committee of Secretaries will examine it," he said.
The statement comes a day after the government set up a three-member panel headed by Planning Commission Member B K Chaturvedi to look into issues related to utilisation of surplus coal from captive blocks.
The Committee will comprise of Srivastava, among others.
The panel which will look into implications, legal issues and mechanisms with regard to usage of surplus coal from captive mines, will submit its report within two weeks.
The Power Ministry has also suggested to the Coal Ministry incentivising surplus coal production from captive mines in a bid to produce more coal in the backdrop of its shortage in the country.
Domestic coal demand was at 772.84 million tonnes (MT) against production of 557.60 MT in the last fiscal, according to official data.
The demand-supply gap of coal is mainly met by imports from countries such as Indonesia, South Africa and Australia.
The deficit of about 204 MT had resulted in doubling of the coal import bill at about USD 18 billion in 2012-13.
C Rangarajan, Chairman of the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council, had said that higher coal imports were having a bearing on the current account deficit of the country, which touched a record high of 6.7 percent of the GDP in December quarter of 2012-13.
First Published: Wednesday, July 3, 2013, 15:07