NEW DELHI: The All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF) has urged the central government to compensate states for importing coal in the absence of adequate dry fuel for thermal plants.
"AIPEF has demanded that the Centre compensate each and every state that is being forced to import coal in absence of adequate domestic coal. In absence of this financial help, the financial condition of the utilities will deteriorate further," an AIPEF statement said.
V K Gupta, a spokesperson for AIPEF, said the federation has written a letter to Union Power Minister R K Singh in this regard.
The letter said forcing states to import coal to bridge the supply-demand gap, "created through sheer mismanagement and lack of anticipation and planning is not appreciable".
Gupta said the landed cost of coal in thermal plants of Punjab and Haryana is around Rs 5,500 per tonne.
The cost of Indonesian coal is around USD 200 per tonne or around Rs 15,000 per tonne.
Besides, there are transportation charges of Rs 3,300 per tonne from the seaport in Gujarat to the thermal plants of Punjab and Haryana.
The minimum cost difference between domestic and imported coal would be about Rs 13,500 per tonne. Punjab will have to bear an extra expenditure of about Rs 800 crore if it imports the complete 6 lakh tonne target.
In the case of Haryana, this amount will be Rs 1,200 crore for a 9 lakh tonne target.
In the case of other states, where targets are much bigger, financial implications will be more, it stated.
The federation said that as per an RTI information, the railway ministry ordered total of 52,112 wagons in the last five years and there is a pending supply of 14,050 wagons as of March 31, 2022.
The shortage of rail wagons will remain a constraint in coal transportation, it pointed out.
AIPEF alleged that "the government's insistence on the CIL (Coal India) paying high dividends has hindered its own efforts to enlarge its coal development program.
"CIL's output has remained stagnant for the last three-four years and the company has lost the momentum it built up whilst failing to make good use of its sizeable reserves," it said.