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07 April, 2020, 09:33 AM IST

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Coal India eases payment terms and waives penalties for consumers

“This is also referred to as deferred payment letter of credit, which will allow consumers in the power sector to get deferred payment option for coal value by paying service charge to its banker. The banker makes instant payment to Coal India,” said a senior Coal India executive.

  • This time, following spread of Corona Virus , the exercise will be completed on April 27. According to a notice issued by the company, physical stock measurement is to be completed within seven days, by April 22.

    Coal India (CIL) recorded an all-time high production of 84.36 MT in March 2020, posting 6.5 per cent growth as compared to same month a year ago. By producing 3.85 MT of coal on March 30, CIL has set up a new record for the highest-ever production in a day since its inception. Coming back strongly in the last quarter of FY2020, CIL clocked a robust 9.9 per cent production growth compared to same quarter of 2018-19.

    Coal offered through long-term supply contract auctions, spot or forward e-auctions find takers from some particular sources. The plan is to supply import substitute fuel from sources that will not affect supplies under existing schemes. Coal India is focused on raising supply for import substitution and is in regular talks with power producers.

    Coal India Limited may be dragging on with a huge manpower pool, suffers from low productivity issues, and is forced to operate small and unviable legacy mines — pits handed over to the company during nationalisation. But analysts and market watchers feel that its rivals — foreign and domestic — will still be starting with a set of disadvantages.

    It has hired Indian Port Rail Corp. (IPRCL) to build rail infrastructure, construct more sidings and improve connectivity with Indian Railways’ main network.

    Coal India has been gearing up to enhance production levels for the past several weeks and would be holding on to the current production levels, at least, till monsoons when production takes a hit as pits get flooded following heavy rains.

    "Coal stock at thermal power plants in the country has risen to the highest ever inventory of 39.48 million tonne on March 11, sufficient for 23 days," he said. The stock is expected to further increase during the remaining days of the current fiscal, the official said.

    Last year Supreme Court had paved the way for operationalising of coal mining in Meghalaya under the relevant statutory framework of the Mine and Mineral (Development and Regulation) Act. NGT has banned mining in 2014 in Meghalaya.

    The Mineral laws (Amendment) Bill was passed in Rajya Sabha with 83 MPs voting in its favour and 12 against. Replying after a brief discussion on the bill, Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi said the legislation will help in bring more FDI in the coal and mining sector, and boost economy.

    Law and order issues have delayed land acquisition, which may delay projects and pose obstacles for the company in achieving its target of producing 1billion tonnes of coal by 2024. It is expected to produce 610 million tonnes this year. The target for 2020-21is 750 million tonnes.

    According to the statement, most of its power sector consumers have started regulating coal receipt by filing lesser or no rail movement programs at all. Following increased production and supplies from the subsidiary, fuel stocks at most these plants are adequate for 35-40 days, one of the highest ever, prompting them to regulate receipt of the dry fuel.

    The model, proposed by additional coal secretary VK Tiwari at a recent meeting, is expected to reduce the cost of operation by 10% and make land acquisition easier. The plan will soon be implemented on a trial basis at two coal producing subsidiaries of Coal India. If needed, laws would be amended to facilitate it. ET has reviewed documents related to the proposal.

    A set of state-government owned power plants from Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan are not paying dues regularly on time which has inflated the overall receivables. All this has bloated the total receivables by Rs 5,700 crore this year.

    Employees, currently 42,000, are working 24x7 in both underground & opencast coal mines to produce and despatch enough coal to its linked power plants, so that there should be no disruption in electricity supply in the country at present necessary to combat the menace of COVID-19, WCL said in a press release. Coal Mining activity has been declared as Essential Service.

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