The ministry of coal is mooting plan to ensure coal supply to the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by a separate dispensation.
With big players in the industry bagging major coalmines, the SMEs are in a fix. For, it could not compete with the big players in terms of auctioning and even if it managed to get a coal block in competition, the cost would not be a viable deal to survive the industry.
"The ministry of coal is serious on the issue of small and medium industries, and has been thinking of ensuring coal supply by a separate dispensation," minister of state for coal Piyush Goyal said during his recent Chhattisgarh visit. He said the ministry would take necessary step to protect the interest of the SMEs.
A delegation of SMEs in Chhattisgarh met the minister and apprised him about the problems faced by the industries in the new practice of coal blocks allocation. Goyal assured the industrialists that there would be no shortage of coal for the small and medium industries. The issue of e-auctioning of coal linkage was also discussed during the meeting.
The Coal ministry is working out plans to introduce tariff-based competitive bidding for auctioning coal linkages. Till now the government was granting coal linkages with assurance of supplies from the Coal India Limited on an adhoc basis.
"The coal minister (Piyush Goyal) said the ministry might consider their demand of putting the auctioning of coal linkage on hold for a year," Anil Nachrani, the former President of Chhattisgarh Sponge Iron Manufacturers' Association, said. The industrialists told the minister that the decision should not be taken in haste as the SMEs would be the biggest suffer as big industrialists would bag the linkage by paying higher price.