Consumer body for rollback of new coal pricing

January 19th, 2012 - 9:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Jan 19 (IANS) Describing public sector Coal India Ltd’s (CIL) new pricing policy as arbitrary and harmful to industrial growth, the Coal Consumers Association of India (CCAI) Thursday demanded a rollback.

“The new pricing mechanism has resulted in steep rise in coal prices which will grossly affect coal consumers and result in price rice of steel, cement and other major industries.

“This will severely hamper the industrial growth of our country when the industry has already suffered from high interest rates and a shrink in factory output by more than 5 percent,” CCAI president P.K. Chand told the media.

The Kolkata-based company had Jan 1 shifted to a pricing, based on gross calorific value (GCV) that measures the amount of heat liberated by carbon and hydrogen in the coal when it is heated.

The new pricing policy, however, has been stayed by the Calcutta High Court till Feb 15 after a public interest litigation (PIL) was filed by environmental activist Subhas Dutta claiming that CIL was making huge profits by fleecing the general public.

The ministry of coal is also slated to review the controversial pricing policy Jan 20.

The association said the average increase in the price of coal under GCV will be around 60 percent.

“The minimum increase in price of the various grades of coal ranges from 3-15 percent while the maximum increase ranges between 100 percent to even 219 percent,” Chand said.

Chand said the new policy should come into force only when prerequisites for it are in place.

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