Importing coal is the "remedy" for avoiding power generation losses in the country, while the government's replies on the issue have been ambiguous, a Standing Committee report on Energy has said.
"Considering the lack of adequate indigenous coal supply, import of coal is the only remedy for avoiding power generation losses," the report said.
The committee said that all power utilities should have mandatory advanced planning for their requirement of coal so that firm orders for required quantity of imported coal may be placed and executed in time.
The committee found Power Ministry's reply regarding importing of coal ambiguous and contradictory.
"Reply of Ministry of Power was full of ambiguity and contradiction in respect of import of coal as to who will import the required coal and what will be the quantity," the report said.
"On the one hand the ministry has said that the modalities and mechanism for import of coal are decided by the power utilities themselves...While on the other hand they have reported that the responsibility of import of coal lies with Coal India and coal companies, it added.
In the committee's earlier report in 2009-10, Coal India was to import four million tonnes of the fuel from overseas.
However, the said import could not take place due to absence of any firm commitment from the power utilities.
Meanwhile, the central public sector units under Ministry of Power are being advised to include import of coal in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
The committee expects the Power Ministry to apprise it about the concrete steps taken to make it mandatory for power utilities to have advance planning for import of coal, to bring clarity and specify whether power utilities or Coal India would be responsible for import of coal.