A study by the advisory group for integrated development of power, coal, and renewable energy recommended the opening up of the coal sector, upgrading and scaling up the state-run Coal India and its subsidiaries for increased extraction of coal.
Headed by railway minister Suresh Prabhu, the study advocated measures for the enhancement of coal production in short, medium and long term.
The study results were presented to Piyush Goyal, minister for power and coal, and called for certain improvements in Coal India and its subsidiaries, including Central Mine Planning and Design Institute Limited (CMPDI).
The study group advocated the need to open up the coal sector to supplement the domestic production by Coal India and few other companies.
The report also touched upon the coal block auction process, coal linkage rationalisation and swapping of coal linkages. The urgent need for coal linkages to already commissioned power plants, and those expected to go live by March 2015.
The development of railway infrastructure to connect coal mines to main railway system attains criticality, and it could be done through a joint venture company on infrastructure by Coal India.
The report sought expedited reforms in the distribution sector with targeted actions, including privatisation or public private partnerships for distribution, reported The Hindu.
The study group suggested the need to address the transmission constraints and to make the necessary amendments to the Electricity Act and related policies.
Coal India is the nation's largest source of coal, amounting to almost 80% of the coal mined.
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