Union Minister Piyush Goyal has assured the power industry that the strike called by trade unions on September 2 will not have any impact on coal supply.
"There is no shortage of coal anywhere in the country and the proposed trade union strike would not have any impact on the supply situation," PIB quoted the coal and power minister while addressing an investor summit here last evening.
Goyal said the nation as a whole has sufficient supply of coal and even if no coal is mined for the next 50-60 days, the power industry can rest assured that they would get an uninterrupted supply of coal to keep their plants running.
The central trade unions, except the RSS-affiliated Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), have decided to go on a pan-India strike on September 2 demanding social security for workers and minimum wage of not less than Rs.18,000 per month.
The minister further said that creating sufficient power generation capacity, helping state discoms to turn around and making power affordable to all are the priority areas of the government.
"We in the government are focused on setting the policy aspect right rather than addressing individual issues. The initial impact of the UDAY Scheme has been on the financial side. Interest costs have come down and the results are encouraging," Goyal said, adding that the states are serious in implementing power sector reforms.
He said the government was capitalising on improved efficiency of the power sector value chain to deliver affordable, uninterrupted power.
"Affordability of power will be very important for the new industries to be set up and investments to flow into India. Appetite for expensive power is not there," he added.
Citing the example of Punjab, which has set a new, lower power tariff for the new industries, Goyal asked Maharashtra also to follow suit and urged Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to consider a separate power tariff window for new industries and other consumers to boost power consumption.
"India’s power generation capacity has already crossed 300,000 MW. We can expand our generation capacity by over 50 per cent through efficient utilisation of existing and under implementation power infrastructure," he said, adding by 2020, India can double its power generation.