Hyderabad: De-growth being registered by the mining industry in the wake of issues like land acquisition and environment may drag down the country’s GDP further, a top official said here on Friday.
S Narsing Rao, chairman and managing director of Singareni Collieries Company who is set to take over as CMD of state-owned Coal India Ltd, said the country needs at least 280 million tons of additional coal to meet the 12th plan target of power capacity generation of 70,000 mw.
"The drag on the (GDP) growth was mining sector. Mining grew at (minus) -2.2 percent in the last quarter and GDP has come down largely because of mining. At least in the short term the coal mining is in the negative zone and I am sure iron ore is also in the negative territory," Rao said at a seminar here today.
He said for the last six months to one year, land acquisition for mining has come to a halt in the wake of the proposed Land Acquisition Bill which is yet to be placed
before the parliament.
"Farmers are demanding six times more than the market price of their land or ask us to wait till the new Bill comes into effect," he said.
Later talking to reporters, he said the 70,000 mw power capacity addition in 12th plan would be possible only if there is an incremental coal production of 200 million tons during the plan period.
He said out of 70,000 mw, nearly 45,000 mw power addition is expected from the coal-based plants.
According to him, the total coal production in the 11th plan is likely to end up at 550 million tons, up by 120 million tons.
"We are likely to end up at 550 million tons in this five year plan and it started at 430 million tons. About 120 million tons were added in this five year plan. We need 200 million tons coal for power sector. There are also other sectors which depend on coal such as steel and cement. So, about 280 million tons of incremental coal is required. Then only 200 million tons can go the power and balance go to other sectors," Rao explained.
He also said that going forward, to meet high environmental standards, mining companies would need to invest in newer technologies.