Millennium Post

Pithead stock at Coal India Ltd mines rises to 53 mt

The PSU’s pithead stock -- coal which has been mined, but not yet lifted for supplies -- in the previous fiscal was 46 MT, an official said. Coal India had earlier said that a lot of deliberations have been carried out with the Coal Ministry and internally on various models to enhance rail connectivity for coal movement. A Parliamentary panel had recently said that to achieve an output of one billion tonnes by 2020, Coal India should establish a matching evacuation mechanism and simultaneously 
develop rail infrastructure.

“The Committee notes that CIL has set for itself an ambitious plan of one billion tonne coal production by the year 2020. It feels that to achieve this target, it is equally important to put into place a matching evacuation of coal mechanism by <g data-gr-id="47">simultaneous</g> development of rail infrastructure,” the panel said. The committee further said that in order to achieve the planned growth in production and evacuation in future, CIL has undertaken a few major infrastructure projects to be executed by the Railways.

The rail projects include Tori-Shivpuri-Khatotia line with <g data-gr-id="33">length</g> of about 93.45 km for North Karanpura coalfields of Central Coalfields in Jharkhand. Jharsuguda-Barpalli Railway 52.4 km line for IB Coalfields of Mahanadi Coalfields and for evacuation of coal from Mand-Raigarh and Korba <g data-gr-id="41">Gevra</g> coalfields of South Eastern Coalfields.

Moreover, Jharkhand government, Coal Ministry and Railways earlier this month had signed a memorandum of understanding for <g data-gr-id="51">formation</g> of a joint venture to construct railway lines in the command areas of Central Coalfields, a CIL arm. Last month, the Coal Ministry entered into a pact with the railways and Odisha government to implement projects for evacuation of fossil fuel. 

 However, power generation firms like NTPC and Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) have outstanding dues of around Rs 9,000 crore to state-owned Coal India (CIL). “Power PSU like NTPC and DVC have dues of around Rs 9,000 crore to Coal India,” an official said.

Companies which owe money to the coal PSU include West Bengal Power Development Corp and Madhya Pradesh Power Generating Co, the official said. NTPC spokesperson was not available for comments. According to industry analysts, the power generation firms owe huge dues to Coal India as state electricity distribution companies which <g data-gr-id="48">buys</g> electricity from power PSUs are facing tough financial conditions and in the last one year the situation of these Discoms have not improved.

“Non-payment of dues by Discoms to power and coal supplier is not sustainable, it would cause a break in <g data-gr-id="45">supply</g> chain. <g data-gr-id="44">Answer</g> lies in cost reflective tariffs and loss reduction in a time-bound manner,” Association of Power Producers Director General Ashok Khurana said. In the wake of many state <g data-gr-id="42">discoms</g> facing tough financial conditions, the previous government had come out with a financial restructuring scheme for them. The scheme had a total outlay of Rs 1,000 crore for the entire 12th Five-Year Plan period, which ends in March 2017. Later, it was increased and a provision of Rs 1,500 crore was made only for 2013-14. 

Govt task force on capital goods to tackle irritants
The Heavy Industries Ministry has set up a task force to sketch out a <g data-gr-id="115">road map</g> for the country’s capital goods sector. The joint task force, which includes representatives from industry body CII, will provide inputs on the national capital goods policy to address issues faced by the sector. 

“The Ministry of Heavy Industries has constituted a joint task force...on the capital goods sector with an objective to realise the potential under the Make-in-India theme,” said a statement issued by CII. The government had sought suggestions for the policy, looking to increase the sector’s contribution to the total manufacturing activity to 20 <g data-gr-id="122">per cent</g> from the current 12 <g data-gr-id="123">per cent</g> by 2025. 

“The first-ever policy for the sector would act as a catalyst and game-changer for this critical industry. Since the capital goods sector serves, in many ways, as the ‘engine’ of India’s industrial growth, a strong sector is critical to achieving the aspiration of the ‘Make in India’ campaign,” CII Director General Chandrajit Banerjee said. 

The paper outlines key strategic pillars, and areas of focus include creation of an enabling <g data-gr-id="125">eco-system</g>, creation and expansion of market, promotion of exports, development of human resources, enhancement of technology & intellectual property rights (IPR), focus on SMEs and building necessary support services. India’s share in global exports vis-a-vis capital goods is still low across various sub-sectors, ranging between 0.1-0.6 per cent. 

In contrast, the figure for China is between 7.7 per cent and 16.3 per cent, depending on the sub-sector. Capital goods <g data-gr-id="116">contributes</g> significantly to exports with over Rs 52,000 crore in 2013-14, which has grown at approximately 20 <g data-gr-id="113">per cent</g> per annum over the last decade. 
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