Punjab Reluctant to Import Coal Despite Centre Directive

News Patiala:

The Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) has expressed its reluctance to import coal despite the Centre’s directive to all companies operating thermal power plants to import 6 per cent of coal instead of the previous 4 per cent till March 2024.

PSPCL Chairman-cum-Managing Director Baldev Singh Sran wrote to the Union Secretary, Power, stating that the present coal requirements of PSPCL’s state sector plants is 50 lakh metric tonne per annum and the availability from the PSPCL’s captive coal mine in Pachhwara, as per approved mining plan, is 70 lakh metric tonne per annum.

Sran further stated that the state will have to bear an “additional burden of Rs 500 crore per annum despite owning a captive mine” if it imports coal. He also argued that importing coal will lead to reduced coal production from the Pachhwara mine, which will not be in the overall national interest.

The Union Ministry of Power has issued the revised directive to ensure that there is no shortfall in domestic coal supply. The ministry has also directed imported coal-based units to run till June 24.

However, the PSPCL remains opposed to the move. The state is yet to hear back from the Ministry on its request to reconsider the directive.

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