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Fuel shortage restraining growth in power sector: Scindia

Shortage of domestic gas also has to be addressed on priority basis

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Fuel shortage is restraining the growth of and it needs to be addressed at the earliest, Power Minister Jyotiraditya said today.

"Major challenge is securing fuel supplies. Though India has the world's fourth largest reserves of coal and has recently made gas discoveries that are notable even by global standards, inadequate fuel supplies are constraining the growth of power sector," he said at an event here.

"In the past few years, India's fuel imports have increased substantially and are likely to continue to be so if the current situation prevails, subjecting electricity prices to volatile international fuel prices and shortages.

"In order to bridge the gap between demand and supply of power, especially in the context of limited financial resources available, it has become imperative to look for other options which are not as capital intensive as new capacity addition and which could be implemented in a comparatively shorter time frame," he said.

To tackle these problems domestic coal production needs to be increased to meet the demand of power sector, he added.

"Shortage of domestic gas also has to be addressed on priority basis," he said.

"Power is one of the most important inputs for economic and social development of our country. The major challenge before us is to provide competitive power to the consumers while improving the reliability and quality of supply," he added.

Delays in acquiring land, obtaining necessary approvals as well as equipment bottlenecks are constraining the pace of capacity addition of 88,000 MW by 2017, he added.

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