Govt asks states to curb thermal coal imports

Asking states to stop thermal coal imports, the government in Rajya Sabha on Monday said that a lobby was active in some states that was behind dry-fuel imports despite sufficient domestic stock.

Replying to a query in the Upper House during Question Hour, Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi said India houses the fourth largest resources in the world yet thermal coals were being imported and should be stopped.

“There is no hesitation in saying that in many states some import lobby is also working. Though in last three-four months we have enough stock some of the Gencos are importing.This is the major problem,” Joshi said.

Making it clear that he was not politicising the issue,the minister said many states are importing thermal coal which is substitutable.

“I have written to all chief ministers including of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Punjab, Rajasthan,Maharashtra, West Bengal, Telangana, Jharkhand and Tamil Nadu requesting them to direct all Gencos to maximise the coal lifting and stop coal imports,” he said.

The minister said he has also asked Power Minister R K Singh to ask NTPC to totally stop the imports. All thermal power plants have a stock of 23 days which is the highest ever in ecent history, he added.

The minister cautioned states to utilise domestic coal on a priority basis as the present stock has a maximum life of 30 years.

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