'Finer details of price-pooling before Cabinet in a week'

'Finer details of price-pooling before Cabinet in a week' New Delhi: Two days after the Cabinet gave the in-principle approval for price pooling, Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal Thursday said finer details of the mechanism will be put before the Cabinet within a week for final nod.

Jaiswal said states will not be impacted by the decision to pool prices of domestic and imported coal to arrive at a uniform price of the feedstock as it would not be implemented for power plants commissioned before March 31, 2009.

"The Cabinet has given its nod for price pooling and the Ministries of Power and Coal will have to work out a mechanism for it. We will place it before the CCEA within a week for a final decision on it," Jaiswal told reporters here on the sidelines of India Energy Congress.

Asked about states' opposition to price pooling, Jaiswal said they would have opposed it if the government had decided to bring old plants also under the ambit of price pooling.

"Price pooling would not be implemented for power plants, commissioned before March 31, 2009. So, there is no question of states being impacted by it," he said.

Many state governments have voiced their opposition to the price pooling mechanism as they fear that this could lead to increase in electricity tariffs.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on February 5 gave its in-principle approval to price pooling mechanism. Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari, who revealed this to media, had not spelt out any time line for fixing the specifics of price pooling.

He had merely said that "both the ministries have appreciated the urgencies and they would be coming back as quickly as possible".

Prime Minister's Office had directed Coal India Ltd (CIL) and Central Electricity Authority last year to work on price-pooling, so as to ensure 80 per cent supplies to power plants.

CIL on its part had said that price pooling is a mechanism to implement fuel supply agreement (FSA) with power companies.

The CIL board had earlier approved the modified FSA without price-pooling, for assured supply of 65 per cent through domestic sources and 15 per cent from imports at cost plus basis.

If price pooling is approved, then 15 per cent supply of imported coal "will be not in the cost plus method, but in pooling mechanism", it had said.

PTI