Centre to try and remove Indonesia coal import hurdle

Last Updated: Sat, Jan 28, 2012 18:40 hrs

The Centre has expressed concerns at the restrictions on the export of certain grades of coal by the Indonesian government, and said the issue would be taken up bilaterally.

Indonesia was planning to impose export duty on coal and minerals from this year, ahead of a planned export ban from 2014. “We have taken it up with the external affairs and the finance ministries to solve the tax issue with the Indonesian government,” said Alok Perti, Secretary, Ministry of Coal. “We would try to find a solution through bilateral talks.”

About 60 per cent of India’s thermal coal imports are reportedly from Indonesia. Perti said the problem will aggravate if Australia also decides to put similar restrictions.

The Planning Commission had said that the domestic coal demand is set to rise to 1,000 million tonnes, from 5550-600 MT now, during the XII Plan, which will lead to an import of 200 million tonnes to bridge the shortfall in the country’s production. During the current fiscal, India was planning to import 142 MT of coal from Indonesia.

To increase the target for additional production by Coal India Ltd (CIL), the Secretary, Ministry of Coal, said the Prime Minister’s office is working towards co-ordination between stake holders, including the coal, power and environment ministries. For the next Plan period, the government is looking to reduce the number of new linkages to meet demand on a viability basis.

“If environment issues are sorted out, we would be able to increase the conservative additional production target of 100 MT for the 12th Five-Year Plan Period announced by the state-run coal major. I believe it can be 160 MT, if environment issues are sorted out,” Perti said.

On the restructuring of the Gross Calorific Value-based pricing, Perti said, “We would now like to have it in a revenue-neutral way.”

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