NEW DELHI: The government today approved swapping of coal supplies between public sector and private sector companies, a move that may help augment availability of fuel and reduce transportation charges.
"Only today I have approved the proposal. Henceforth, government and public sector companies can swap their coal with private companies also and I would like it to be across sectors," Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal said here.
"To begin with, we are working on power-to-power sector," Goyal said. He was speaking during an event organised by the Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (PGCIL).
The guidelines which were being framed on the same would be out in the next 30 days, the Minister said. "We would be allowing all public and private companies to swap coal to achieve the next level of efficiency through rationalisation of coal linkages. I would urge you [power ministry] to talk to DIPP or any other administrative ministries or the coal ministry. If possible, we could look at the next stage where we could allow swaps across consumers in the country," he said.
Goyal further stressed upon exploring the possibility of buying additional lands and setting up of industrial parks at the places where solar parks were set up so that power produced from the plant could be used in-situ. He also pressed upon the need for round-the-clock power supply to every telecom tower across the country and added that "not a drop of diesel should be used for the telecom tower".
The Minister also added that the PGCIL should consider halving balance sheet size to unlock capital.
"I think it is time now for Power Grid to consider moving out of becoming an asset holding company into a project management implementing company. These assets which have accrued over the last 25 years -- it's time to look at at least halving the balance sheet so that it can unlock your capital," the Minister said.
Goyal further said that Power Grid should explore infrastructure investment trust (InvIT) mode to unlock capital from assets. "You must look at investment trust that are permitted by the law. I would urge [power ministry] to look at some amendments to the regulatory framework so that the projects which Power Grid has and any other transmission company has can move from a cost plus scenario to possibly an escalating formula or a fixed plus, or inflation-linked formula," he said.