" -- Indo-Asian News Service"
New Delhi, Dec 8 - As the coal auctions draw near with several trade unions in government-owned Coal India Limited (CIL) upset over the privatisation drive, the union government Monday said that it had no proposal at present to provide fresh coal linkages to private companies for new and upcoming projects.

At present, there is no proposal to provide fresh coal linkages to private companies for new and upcoming projects, Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal said during Question Hour in Rajya Sabha.

Further, coal may also be made available for power plants of 4,660 MW subject to availability after consumption of the same by the identified plants of 78,000 MW capacity.

Until now, the union government has issued 177 Letters of Assurance to several power plants including independent power producers covering 108,000 MW. Out of this, the authority had approved signing fuel supply agreements (FSAs) in respect of 78,000 MW plants which have been commissioned or are likely to be commissioned by March 31, 2015.

The power projects of the remaining capacity of 30,000 MW are yet to be authorised for signing of FSAs. Keeping in view the negative coal balance reported by subsidiary coal companies of CIL, new linkages or Letter of Assurance (LoA) have not been granted to any of the sectors since 2010, Goyal said.

He also said coal linkages or LoAs issued to the power plants are converted into long-term fuel supply agreements post achieving prescribed milestones as laid down by the government.

The consumers under the FSA are supplied coal at the price notified by Coal India Ltd (CIL) from time to time. This applies to the regulated sectors, he said.

CIL charges a price which is about 35 per cent higher than the notified price for non-regulated sectors including steel, cement and sponge iron.

This is because the prices of end products of coal-consuming industries in the non-regulated sector are market-driven, Goyal said.

-- Indo-Asian News Service

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