Inter-Ministerial panel on coal linkages to meet next month

Inter-Ministerial panel on coal linkages to meet next month New Delhi: Amid the power producers facing fuel supply issues, an Inter-Ministerial panel is likely to meet early next month to look into issues with regard to coal linkages to power sector.

The 13-member panel, to be chaired by Additional Secretary Coal, has members from the ministries like Power, Railways and Shipping, among others.

"The meeting of the Standing Linkage Committee (Long-Term) for power....Will be held on January 7," according to a Coal Ministry document dated December 26.

The meeting will review "the status of the achievement of milestones of the existing LoAs (Letter of Assurances) holders in the power sector and other items relating the existing coal linkages," the document said.

Coal India (CIL) Chairman and Managing Director (S Narsing Rao, CMDs of all subsidiaries of CIL, NTPC CMD Arup Roy Choudhury, among others, are likely to attend the meeting.

The meeting on coal linkages comes at a time when only 33 of the total 87 power producers have signed fuel supply pacts with CIL even after an intervention from Prime Minister Office on account of issues raised by the power producers with regard to certain clauses of the model fuel supply agreement (FSA).

A couple of days back, the government had said that most of the issues relating to FSAs have been resolved and power companies are likely to ink fuel supply pacts with CIL in a month's time.

Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal and Power Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia had said that most of the issues related to the contentious FSAs have been sorted out.

The Prime Minister's Office has directed power producers to enter into FSAs with CIL within a month. The PMO directive on December 17 came after its November deadline for FSAs was missed due to various issues raised by power producers.

Both the ministers had said that a joint decision has been taken to ensure that there would be no "distinction" on FSAs for public and private power companies.

NTPC is among the companies that have raised concerns about the quality of coal supplied by CIL.

PTI