Asking all concerned to collect the relevant back-up data, the Group of Ministers (GoM) on Coal, chaired by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, on Thursday decided to meet on July 2 again.

The Coal Ministry has been asked to collect all the data about projects that are being affected due to coal production issues and would meet again on July 2. “The GoM will meet again on July 2. Decisions on a boarder basis are likely to be taken at that time,'' Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal told reporters here after the meeting.

The panel, set up in February to sort out tussles between ministries on the environmental norms affecting projects, especially in the coal sector, met for the third time on Thursday. The GoM meetings in February and April were inconclusive. “In principle, it is decided that by July 2, the entire data should be collected. Data on pending as well as upcoming projects and expected production from these projects will be gathered by next meeting,'' Mr. Jaiswal said.

According to him, a lot of issues such as ways to raise coal production and fulfil power generation requirements were discussed at the meeting. Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, who is part of the 12-member GoM, expressed optimism that issues related to coal would be resolved. “We have set a power capacity addition target of 80,000 MW in the XII Plan. If we don't get enough coal, there could be a reduction in the target. As of now, we have not reduced the target,'' Mr. Shinde said.

Many power projects have been delayed due to uncertainty over availability and supply of coal, especially with the Ministry of Environment and Forest categorising 203 coal blocks as no go zones. The output from these 203 blocks can generate around 1.3 lakh MW of power annually as per the estimates of the Coal Ministry.

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