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Friday, February 24, 2012

Coal GoM to meet on March 1

Feb 23, 2012

New Delhi: Amid the country facing an acute coal shortage, a ministerial panel, headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, will meet on March 1 to address the environmental issues that hurt the coal output.

"The Group of Ministers [GoM] meeting will take place on March 1. It will deliberate on the environment issues that is hampering production of coal," an official told PTI.

The development comes in the wake of widening demand-supply deficit of coal which is pegged at 137 million tonne this fiscal.

Coal Secretary Alok Perti has yesterday said that "fast-tracking clearances is the only answer," as 100 odd projects of Coal India (CIL) were pending at different stages for various clearances affecting production.

CIL, which accounts for 80% of the domestic production, has been pleading that it is not in a position to increase output for want of geen clearances. It has kept its output target for the current fiscal at 440 million tonne, just a marginal increase over 2010-11.

The official said that the issues will be deliberated in the proposed meeting of the 12-member panel which might meet once more sometime in early May.

The GoM was constituted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in February last year to iron out issues impeding dry fuel production. It had earlier decided to do away with contentious 'go' and 'no go' classification by the Environment Ministry.

Earlier this month, the Centre has asked all the states to send proposals without delay for clearances of coal blocks that were either rejected by the Environment Ministry due to their falling into no mining zone or have been pending for long.

Coal and Environment Ministries had locked horns over the issue after the latter had in 2009 classified 203 coal blocks under 'no go' area prohibiting mining there, impacting 660 million tonne coal production per annum.


1 comment:

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