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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

India to seek ‘special status’ from Indonesia in allocation of coal blocks

Tue, Dec6, 2011

New Delhi : The Government has said that it will seek Indonesia’s cooperation for the accord of “special status” to Indian companies in the grant of coal blocks, a move aimed at bridging the widening demand-supply gap for the dry fuel at home.

The Ministry of Coal will “... impress upon the provisional government/regional government to allocate blocks under their special status (most favoured nation type) to Indian government coal companies...,” the Coal Ministry has said.

Seeking the allocation of coal blocks on a “nomination basis”, an official document of the Ministry has said it will be sending a team from the Coal Ministry and CIL to Indonesia to pursue the matter.

The decision to approach the Indonesian Government was taken at a meeting of an India-Indonesia Joint Working Group on Coal on November 24 and 25.

Seeking the allocation of large greenfield (new) coal concessions on a nomination basis, the Ministry will also impress upon the Indonesian Government the need for expeditious environmental and forest clearances, besides smooth land acquisition.

Coal India (CIL), which accounts for 81 per cent of domestic coal production, recently said that it has zeroed in on two overseas coal assets, including one in Indonesia, for acquisition and expects to begin a serious dialogue with the owners soon.

The PSU has put together a war-chest of Rs 6,000 crore for the acquisition of the mines.

At present, the country is faced with a coal demand-supply shortfall of 142 million tonnes, with domestic output likely to amount to 554 mt in the current fiscal.

Keywords: Special status, coal blocks, Indonesia, CIL, mines

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