The CIL board has agreed to remove the provision under which private sector power producers were required to deposit 6 per cent of the base price of coal as security deposit before signing the FSA. The world’s biggest coal miner has also yielded to the demand of the power ministry by deleting a clause in the FSA which empowered CIL to unilaterally terminate the FSA with a buyer in case of a dispute between the both. If disputes persist then the matter would be referred to coal ministry for their resolution.
A top coal ministry official told The Indian Express, CIL has also removed a clause asking power companies mandatorily clear at least 5 per cent of their annual contracted quantity from CIL mines, basically Central Coalfields, Mahanadi Coalfields and Southeastern Coalfields. Coal samples will also be allowed to be tested at third party sites by September 2013. A clause to this effect would be inserted in the FSAs to be inked for which modalities are being worked out, the official said.
As a partial relaxation of rules, CIL will also not insist that companies have to sign power purchase agreements when they approach the PSU. However, withdrawl of coal would be subjected to such agreements in place. CIL Chairman S Narsing Rao said the company would examine the complaint that coal companies are charging 40 per cent extra premium on the fuel being supplied to tapering linkage holders especially to those having PPAs with discoms, the official informed.
Power minister Jyotiraditya Scindia has been told by his coal counterpart that pending formal re-allocation of three blocks, Chatti-Bariatu, Kerandari and Chatti-Bariatu (South), NTPC can formally apply for new coal blocks which has been advertised by the coal ministry. Once the procedural issues are sorted out, the three blocks would be restored to the power giant, the official said.
“Please appreciate that despite our willingness to ink FSAs some power companies are yet to do it. They are not doing so because they are comfortable getting the fuel through the MoU route. We cannot be held accountable for their indifference,” another coal ministry official said.