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Non-BJP States owe the most in coal dues to CIL, says Power Minister RK Singh

BL New Delhi Bureau | | Updated on: Apr 28, 2022
Power Minister RK Singh

Power Minister RK Singh

Maharashtra, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan account for about 68 per cent of the total dues.

A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi blamed Opposition-ruled States for high fuel prices, it was the turn of Power Minister RK Singh to assert that a major part of the outstanding dues of PSU miner Coal India (CIL) have accumulated in the non-BJP States Maharashtra, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Rajasthan.

According to CIL data, till April 18, various state Gencos and state electricity boards (SEBs) owe the PSU miner a total of ₹7,918.72 crore, sources said.

Of this, Maharashtra (Mahagenco) owes CIL the highest at ₹2,608.07 crore, followed by West Bengal (WBPDCL, WBSEB and DPL) at ₹1,508.26 crore, Tamil Nadu (Tangedco) at ₹823.92 crore, and Rajasthan (RRUVNL) at ₹429.47 crore. These four states alone account for about 68 per cent of total dues, they added.

Of the other non-BJP states, Andhra Pradesh (APGENCO) owes CIL ₹271.04 crore, and Chhattisgarh (CSPGCL) owes ₹202.85 crore. Among the BJP-ruled states, Madhya Pradesh (MPPGCL) owes ₹531.42 crore, Uttar Pradesh (UPRVUNL) owes ₹213.79 crore, and Karnataka (KPCL) owes ₹134.60 crore, the sources said.

Higher power demand

When asked about rising power demand and non-availability of coal, Singh told reporters that power demand in energy terms has gone up by around 20 per cent compared to pre-Covid FY20. Stocks with power plants are reserve stocks, at 21 MT, which can support power generation for around 10 days.

“I don’t draw from this reserve everyday. I only draw from it when coal receipt is less than consumption. We are already supplying 400 rakes of coal per day. There will be some shortages somewhere. Maybe some states have not paid their dues to CIL. Then in some places, coal was allotted but the state was not able to pick it up,” the Minister explained.

Overall, imports came down substantially which has increased pressure on domestic coal. In FY20, import by power sector stood at 69 MT, which declined to 27.2 MT in FY22, Singh said

“You can’t do this. States should import in advance for blending. They say the price of foreign coal is high ($130-140 per tonne), but you have to import only 10 per cent for blending. So the increase in cost of power will be 5-10 paise per unit, which is better than buying power from spot markets at ₹12 per unit,” he added.

Outstanding dues decline

The outstanding dues of State-run Coal India (CIL) from the power sector declined by a healthy 43 per cent to ₹12,272.41 crore at the end of FY22 compared to ₹21,624.91 crore dues payable at the end of March 2021, latest data from the Coal Ministry said. This is the lowest dues for the month in the last four years.

On a month-on-month (m-o-m) basis, outstanding dues payable by the power sector to the country’s largest coal miner fell by 18 per cent in March this year from ₹15,037.32 crore at the end of February 2022. The lowest dues in the past several years were recorded at the end of March 2019 at ₹8,435.19 crore.

The average cost of production of coal by CIL is ₹1,310.88 per tonne. 

Published on April 28, 2022
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