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13 Oct 2021: Sitharaman rubbishes reports of coal shortage as 'baseless'
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday denied reports of coal shortage in the country and said these are "absolutely baseless." The minister asserted that the question of shortfall doesn't arise as "India is now a power surplus country." She made the comments at a conversation organized by the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government at Harvard Kennedy School. Here are more details.
Details: We are now a power surplus country: Sitharaman
Replying to a question about energy shortage and reports of reduced coal inventories in India, Sitharaman said the reports were "baseless" and "there is no shortage of anything." "There are not going to be any deficiencies which may lead to any shortfall of supply. So that takes care of India's power situation." "We are now a power surplus country," the minister asserted.
Supply: Supply chains are intact: Sitharaman
Refuting shortage claims, Sitharaman repeated Power Minister RK Singh's comment on the issue and said that "every power-producing installation has the next four days' stock absolutely available within their own premises." Downplaying the issue, she added, "The supply chain has not broken at all." She claimed that this is not about "short supply," but it's about "newer components" in India's energy "basket."
Fact: She emphasized shifting to renewable energy
Elaborating on India's energy basket, Sitharaman said her government is taking risks to "see what basket of energy is available for India...how much is based on fossil fuel and how much comes from renewable." She also emphasized shifting it "in favor of renewable energy."
Context: Centre accepted coal crisis after states flagged the issue
Sitharaman's denial comes at a time when the central government has accepted the crisis and maintained that it is working to increase the coal supply to mitigate the problem. On Wednesday, the Power Ministry allowed the power producers to import up to 10% of their coal requirement. Meanwhile, Prime Minister's Office, too, held a review meeting on Tuesday to take stock of the situation.
COVID-19: Sitharaman hailed India's institutional framework for successful COVID-19 vaccination drive
Separately, the Finance Minister also talked about India's successful COVID-19 vaccination drive as it nears one billion doses. Citing the success of polio vaccinations, she hailed India's top to village level institutional framework and experience. "Just as soon as the vaccines became available...our systems were ready to fan out...even go to some of the far-flung areas, and give the doses."
The news article, Sitharaman rubbishes reports of coal shortage as 'baseless' appeared first on NewsBytes.
Also see: Power companies allowed to import 10% of their coal requirement
PMO to review coal shortage situation amid impending power crisis
Centre warns against selling power at hiked rates on exchange
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