No coal price hike this year: minister

May 21st, 2008 - 7:17 pm ICT by admin  

Mumbai, May 21 (IANS) Coal prices will not be hiked in the current fiscal, Minister of State for Coal Santosh Bagrodia said here Wednesday. Talking to the media on the coal scenario, he said that the country “is self-sufficient in matter of coal reserves”, contrary to some reports.

He said that most of the reported shortages of coal was due to the fact that several companies were “violating the mandatory rules”.

“These companies should keep coal stock in reserves at least for 21 days before seeking replenishment. These companies are suffering because of their own mistakes.”

However, the minister added that the government “wants to increase the production target very soon”.

“Those who are importing coke are doing it only because they need a special variety of coal which is not available in Indian mines. We are working towards improving the quality of our indigenous coal production,” Bagrodia said.

He said that new projects were on the anvil and “those mining companies which had been allocated blocks but have not bothered to bring up the supply will soon face penalty”.

The minister found at least three to four projects in Maharashtra “functioning below the required minimum target”.

“We met the chief minister (Vilasrao Deshmukh) here and we reviewed all projects and we found that some of them were under-functioning. I have asked the chief minister to look into the matter,” he said.

On the condition of abandoned mines and future exploration, Bagrodia said his ministry had decided that henceforth “only latest mining technology would be installed, specially in the underground sector”.

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