The Union Coal Ministry on Wednesday amended the New Coal Distribution Policy (NCDP) to increase annual cap of coal sale through State Nominated Agencies (SNA) to 10,000 tonnes per annum (TPA).
The step has been taken by the Ministry to improve ‘ease of doing business’ in the country and make more coal available for Small, Medium and Other Sectors.
The Coal Ministry issued an order stating: “The amendment to the New Coal Distribution Policy [is done] to increase the annual cap of coal from 4,200 tonnes per annum for sale through State Nominated Agencies to 10,000 tonnes per annum. In addition to raising the annual cap of coal, the Ministry has also amended the phrase, ‘Small and Medium sector’, as mentioned in the NCDP to ‘Small, Medium and Others’.”
The Ministry’s order states that the guidelines will also stand applicable to distribution of coal from Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL). The NCDP memorandum laid down the guidelines for distribution and pricing of coal to various sectors. The scope of coverage through SNAs was increased up to 4,200 TPA as per the policy in 2007.
“There have been requests from consumers and state governments for reconsideration of guidelines as mentioned in NCDP for upward revision of annual cap on coal through SNAs and also for amending the condition of the Small and Medium sector to include other sectors where annual coal requirement is very low,” said a Ministry official.
According to the order, the rationale for the amendment is that only Small and Medium sector consumers – having requirement less than 4,200 TPA – were entitled to take coal through SNA, while large units having requirement of less than 4,200 TPA were not recommended for coal by the District Industries Centre (DIC). Moreover, the limit of requirement of less than 4,200 TPA needed to be revised as small units might have expanded over a period of time.
“As adequate quantity of coal at notified price through SNA would be available for this sector, this amendment is seen as one of the many steps taken by the Government to improve ease of doing business in the country and make more coal available for the small, medium and other sectors,” the official added.