Coal Consumers' Association of India urged the government to resume at least some amount of coal supply to the non-power sector, and stressed that lack of dry-fuel at the plant end is forcing many consumers in the non-regulated sector to stall their operations while several others are on the verge of closure.
Non-power sector consumers, including captive power plants, aluminium, steel, cement and sponge iron have long been facing an acute shortage of coal as supply via rail mode was halted from most of the subsidiaries of Coal India Ltd (CIL), Coal Consumers' Association of India said in a recent letter to Coal Secretary AK Jain.
“The ministry is requested to look into the matter empathetically as resumption of at least some amount of coal supply to the non-power sector would be pivotal for the sustenance of the industries at present,” the letter said. The situation, it said, has further worsened as supply to the non-regulated sector (NRS) consumers has been completely halted via road mode as well.
The coal companies are also refrained from conducting any further e-auctions of coal where the non-power sector can participate. Lack of fuel at the plant-end is forcing many NRS consumers to stall their operations while several others are on the verge of closure.
Steadily rising global coal prices as well as expensive ocean freight rates have also rendered import of coal almost impossible for these consumers in order to make up for the lack of supply from indigenous sources.
“The current predicament is a massive blow to the non-power sector of the country which has been gradually turning around after suffering for more than a year due to the pandemic outbreak in 2020,” it said.
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