Planners’ meet kicks off coal sector reforms process

September 3rd, 2008 - 8:53 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 3 (IANS) The Indian government kicked off the process of coal sector reforms when senior Planning Commission officials met Wednesday to discuss various aspects including that of granting linkages to power producers.Wednesday’s meeting comes ahead of a crucial meeting on the issue scheduled for September 15, which Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is expected to chair.

“The meeting discussed various issues related to coal linkages, overall reforms in coal sector, and formation of a regulatory authority,” said a plan panel official.

“The issue of coal linkages and regulatory authority topped the agenda,” the official, who did not wish to be named, told IANS.

Planning Commission member in-charge of the energy sector, B.K. Chaturvedi, chaired the meeting. It was attended by senior officials from the ministries of coal, power, and heavy industries.

The proposed regulatory authority intends to ensure optimal and effective management of coal resources by addressing issues like the development of the sector and regulation of coal prices.

The proposed authority is, however, expected to leave with the state governments the power to grant licences and mining leases.

The power ministry has set November 30 as the deadline for independent power projects (IPPs) under the 11th plan to place orders for equipment failing which they may not get assured coal linkages.

The demand linkages ensure planning of coal supplies, keeping in mind indigenous coal resources and the need to supply fuel of appropriate quality to the consumers.

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