Delay in clearances affecting coal production: official

February 23rd, 2011 - 1:04 am ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Feb 22 (IANS) World’s largest coal miner, Coal India Limited Tuesday said a number of projects have got stuck with the central environment and forests ministry refusing to give the necessary clearances, resulting in a very low rate of growth in the country’s coal production.”In 2005, coal production grew by 6.5 percent. But this year it came down to 1 to 2 percent because a lot of projects got stuck due to some norms of the ministry of environment and forests,” Coal India chairman Partha Bhattacharyya said during an interactive session at the press club here.

“One or two percent growth rate in coal production will not do. Production growth is required for cost control. Price of coal grew by 4.5 per cent per annum which is lower than the inflation rate. But if production does not grow at a higher rate inflation impact will be there on coal price,” he said.

“Projects should be cleared sooner. Projects in open forest area should be given preference,” he said.

Bhattacharyya said 13 new modern washeries will be built within March next year.

Coal India has set up a target of setting up 20 washeries with a total capacity of 111 million tonnes over the next four-five years in partnership with private agencies.

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