Excess coal output worries government: Minister
Mumbai, Sep 30 (IANS) As India plans to become completely self-sufficent in energy security in view of the changing circumstances, the government is worried about how to dispose off the country’s excess coal production, Union Minister for Power Piyush Goyal said here on Friday.
He said that two years ago, when he had announced a target of one billion tonnes of coal production, “it was an off-the-cuff remark” to tackle coal shortages prevalent then.
“Now, after two years we have come a point where we have surplus coal and we are worried how to sell it,” Goyal said, addressing the annual convention of Indian Electrical & Electronics Equipment Manufacturers Association (IEEMA) today.
He said India will have to plan to become completely self-reliant and should not be import-dependent on energy.
“In today’s world, national security encompasses cyber, food and social security, and is not merely confined to arms and equipment. At any critical juncture, if India becomes dependent on a foreign power, the national security would be seriously compromised,” Goyal pointed out.
Stressing on energy security as an integral part of national security, he said the country would have walked the twin track of import substitution and export competitiveness and the government was chalking out a plan to eliminate coal imports for our thermal power plants.
Referring to the electrical and electronics sector, the minister said that India currently imports USD 10 billion worth goods and equipment, so import substitution plan alone in this sector holds a huge manufacturing potential.
“We have to fight the competition on economic terms, the Indian industry should be driven by innovation to provide cost-effective solutions. In this globalised era, we must engage with the world, but on our terms,” Goyal urged.
On the occasion, Goyal presented Usha Kanwar, the sarpanch of Silhegarh village of Rajasthan with ‘Urja Navachar Puraskar’ for eliminating power theft and focusing on village sanitation.
According to the Jaipur Vidhut Vitran Nigam Ltd, the village which had a 39-40 per cent power theft in 2015, is now free from the malaise.
The IEEMA signed a MoU with National Power Training Institute, Power Sector Skill council and Central Board of Irrigation & Power for research, skill development and training power sector personnel.