'Joint policy on price pooling of coal to take some more time'
New Delhi: The government on Wednesday said formulation of joint policy on price pooling of coal through blending domestic fossil fuel rates with imported coal costs will take some more time as the deliberations are underway.
The government, last month, said that it would come out with a policy on pooling of coal prices within a week.
"The deliberations are underway and it will take some time," Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal told reporters here when asked about the timeline of the policy.
Speaking at India Electricity Conference, he said that the proposal to import coal with pooling of prices is suggested to bind over the current shortage situation.
Pooling is a mechanism whereby coal price is discovered after pooling domestic and international prices.
"However, this needs to be studied in depth for a considered view as a number of state governments have expressed their reservation on the proposal.
He also said the price of coal in the country is far below the international prices and the same needs to be rationalised for avoiding wastage and inefficient use of the same. However, when asked about the rise in the prices of coal in the near future, he said, "Not expected".
On December 21, Power Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia had said that a joint policy by Power and Coal Ministries on pooling of prices was expected to be ready in "a week or ten days".
He had also said that discussions were progressing with the Coal Ministry. "The policy should be fair, equitable, transparent and a policy that has a longetivity attached to it," he had said.
Several state governments, including West Bengal and Odisha, have opposed to the proposal of Central Electricity Authority (CEA) regarding pooling of price for both domestic and imported coal.
The Odisha government had opposed it, saying it was not relevant to the power generating companies located very close to coal mines.
This particular proposition of blending price of the imported coal with that of domestic coal possibly does not make any sense to those generating companies located very close to the coal mines, state Energy Secretary P K Jena said in a letter to CEA Chairman.
Likewise, the West Bengal government has raised objections to price-pooling and conveyed to CIL that such a mechanism was not acceptable to it.
The Prime Minister's Office had in October asked both Coal India and CEA to work on price-pooling.
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