Coal India faces flak for raising prices

Our Bureau Kolkata | Updated on April 20, 2011

Kolkata-based Coal Consumers Association of India (CCAI) has criticised Coal India Ltd for steep hike in prices for the non-regulated sector in discrimination to the regulated sector.

The association has also pointed out that while the Indian coal major is for realising import-linked prices, the quality of coal supplied is far inferior to global standards.

Addressing a press conference here on Tuesday, Mr P.K. Chand, CFO of Birla Corporation and president of CCAI, alleged that compared to imported coal; the quality of CIL coal is “inconsistent” and “includes substantial amount of impurities”.

“We sincerely believe that there should be a coal regulator to prevent such indiscriminate price rise by CIL,” Mr Chand said.

While the Coal Minister did not respond to the memorandums submitted by CCAI, the association is now gearing up to seek an appointment with the Prime Minister to apprise him of the issues.

In a multi-layered price increase, CIL had increased the price of coal for the de-regulated sector by 40 per cent. For Mahanadi Coalfields (MCL), the increase was a steep 54 per cent. The price of A and B grade coal is doubled for all users.

CCAI was particularly critical of the price rise quality of MCL coal which they felt was of the worst possible variety available in India.

According to Mr Chand, the latest round of coal price increase has made captive power hugely costly. “Such policies will in effect increase the demand for grid power which is already in short supply,” he added

On the poor track record of the deregulated sectors in bringing captive blocks in production, CCAI blamed government policies in granting the series of requisite approvals as a major deterrent.

Published on April 20, 2011

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