Describing India as a highly price sensitive market, a senior Planning Commission official today said energy prices need to be gradually aligned with the international market and that cannot be done overnight.

Speaking at the India Energy Congress here, Planning Commission member B. K. Chaturvedi said there should be a fair pricing system for oil, gas and coal.

“India is a highly price sensitive market... we should ensure that input cost does not become so high that output price becomes highly uncompetitive,” he said.

The comments come against the backdrop of concerns over high international coal prices that could result in a higher power tariff. Coal is a major fuel for electricity generation in the country.

Chaturvedi said pricing of coal is a major issue for the power sector.

“I cannot really say whether there is great convergence between power producers and Coal India on pricing,” he added.

Noting that fuel has become a major issue in the country, he said a careful approach should be adopted while fixing energy prices.

According to him, nearly 80 per cent of our oil needs, 30-40 per cent of our gas requirement and about 25 per cent of coal needs are met through imports.

(This article was published on February 8, 2013)
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