Panel on PPP models for coal likely to meet this week

Panel on PPP models for coal likely to meet this week New Delhi: The panel formed to devise a policy on Public Private Partnership with CIL as one of the partners to augment coal production may deliberate on various models suggested by different ministries, including Finance, on the PPP route in a meeting likely this week.

"The panel under the Chairmanship of Coal Secretary S K Srivastava may meet this week to deliberate on different models of PPP route suggested by various ministries, including Department of Economic Affairs and Law," a government official said.

The panel is required to devise a PPP policy framework in order to increase production of coal, Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal had earlier said.

In pursuance of the announcement of Finance Minister P Chidambaram in Union Budget with regard to PPP policy framework involving Coal India Limited, a nine-member committee was set up in March.

The committee has members from other ministries including Law, Labour and Finance.

Chidambaram had stated in his Budget speech that there was a need to devise such a policy to reduce the country's increasing dependence on imported coal.

Coal India (CIL), which accounts for over 80 per cent of domestic coal production, achieved an output of only 452 million tonnes (MT) last fiscal, missing the target of 464 MT.

The Coal ministry has set a production target of 482 million tonne and off-take of 492 million tonne for CIL for the current fiscal.

Planning Commission had earlier said that India's coal imports are likely to touch a whopping 185 MT by 2017, almost 20 per cent of the global trade in the sector, amid widening demand-supply deficit.

It had said there is an urgent need to take effective measures to step up coal production.

PTI