Odisha Sun Times Bureau
New Delhi/Bhubaneswar, Mar 9:
Union minister for Power and Coal Piyush Goyal today assured Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik that the Centre would earmark a large coal block for commercial mining for the benefit of industries in the state.
The Union minister, during a meeting with Patnaik at Odisha Bhawan in New Delhi, also told him that the Centre would allocate another significant coal block to a state PSU.
“Since the interests of the state are of paramount importance, the Centre would make every effort to ensure adequate availability of coal for the power sector and other industries.” he added.
Expressing grave concern over the marginal benefits derived by Odisha as compared to other states from the ongoing coal blocks auction, the Chief Minister said a disproportionately large number of coal blocks in Odisha have been earmarked for the power sector, which witnesses a reverse bidding process and puts the state in a comparatively disadvantageous position.
Out of the nine coal blocks earmarked for auction in Odisha so far, only one has been earmarked for the non-regulated sector, he pointed out.
“A large number of industries in the state will be put to great disadvantage due to non-earmarking of adequate number of coal blocks to meet their captive requirements,” the Cchief Minister told Goyal.
In his response, Goyal said the Centre shall address the concerns of the state and ensure that the industries of Odisha do not suffer on account of inadequate availability of coal to meet their captive requirement and the state receives maximum revenue from the coal block auction process.