More Coal projects likely to get clearances: Jaiswal

Last Updated: Tuesday, March 22, 2011 - 19:21

New Delhi: Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal on Tuesday said more projects of Coal India are likely to get
go-ahead in the upcoming group of minister`s (GoM) meeting on
coal mining in go and no-go areas.

"The symptoms are good.....We are hopeful that more
projects will be cleared in the next meeting GoM," Jaiswal
said reporters here.

The second meeting of 12-member group of ministers which
was to be held in the second week of March is yet to take
place.

The minister also said the ongoing nuclear crisis in
Japan will have an impact on prices and supply in the global
coal market in the short-term.

"Negative sentiments have developed on nuclear energy post
crisis in Japan. In the long run nuclear energy is important
but right now there will be pressure on coal," the minister
said.

Jaiswal expressed optimism that the coal production will
grow by 7 to 8 per cent from the next financial year.

"We have started getting clearances (of projects) from
Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF)....it is likely that
there will be growth of 7 to 8 per cent in the next financial
year," Jaiswal said.

Jaiswal did not completely rule out the revision in coal
prices post wage revision for Coal India employees likely to
take place in June.

"It is likely that coal prices may increase after wage
revision," the Coal Minister said.

The 12-member GoM that also comprising among others
Jaiswal, Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, Steel Minister
Beni Prasad Verma and Road Transport Minister CP Joshi, met
last month in the backdrop of various controversies, mainly
over "go" and "no go" areas in coal mines.

In the midst of the inter-ministerial rows, Finance
Minister Pranab Mukherjee had asked Environment Minister
Jairam Ramesh to respond to issues raised by the Coal Ministry
by March 15.

The meeting remained inconclusive.
Jaiswal had then exuded confidence that most of the
issues will be resolved.

The `no-go` classification by Environment Ministry in
2009 had disallowed mining in 203 blocks with the potential of
producing 660 million tonnes of coal a year.

According to Coal Ministry estimates, the output from
these blocks could have been used to generate around 1.3 lakh
MW of power per annum.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, March 22, 2011 - 19:21

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