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Power play in the coal economy: Tracking Chhattisgarh unofficial levy row

The scandal over an unofficial levy in Chhattisgarh reflects the shortage that is afflicting the economy and a walk-back from market-friendly reforms

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(Photo: Bloomberg)

Subhomoy Bhattacharjee New Delhi
Allegations of an unofficial coal levy being extracted from miners by a cabal of middlemen, state officials and politicians in Chhattisgarh reflect the shortage that afflicts the coal economy again. Though such “levies” cannot be condoned, they recur when policy makers walk back market-friendly reforms such as cutting the volume of coal sold via e-auctions and micro-managing demand and supply.

That there is a coal shortage is clear from a Ministry of Power order last week invoking Section 11 of the Electricity Act to order power plants that use imported coal to generate electricity at full capacity. This section was

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First Published: Feb 27 2023 | 5:58 PM IST

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