New Delhi: Nationalisation of coal should be repealed, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said Tuesday pitching for private sector participation in the sector.
"I believe nationalisation of coal should be repealed...," Ahluwalia said.
His comments come at a time when many sectors, especially power, are grappling with coal scarcity despite the country having large reserves of the dry fuel.
Coal mining in the country is carried out by state-owned Coal India Ltd (CIL) and its subsidiaries.
"I think our policy on coal is basically inconsistent with the policy of every other energy source. In petroleum, natural gas you allow private sector. In coal you don't. Both the other resources are actually more valuable.
"It is just a historical legacy. This definitely needs to be controlled," he said here.
Faced with fuel shortage, the government is looking at utilising excess coal produced from captive mines.
In this regard, a high-level panel headed by Planning Commission Member B K Chaturvedi is looking into the matter.
"My view is, we should be able to do that. And if the feeling is if that gives undue benefit to the coal supplier, there is some way that benefit could be shared between the different people involved," Ahluwalia said.
At present, many of the power projects are importing coal to meet their needs.
"We are currently importing coal. If we could increase production from captive mine and use that coal somewhere else, there would be a net saving to the country.
"Because you would not be buying expensive coal and you would have more assured domestic availability," he noted.
First Published: Tuesday, November 12, 2013, 22:23