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UCCI Plea On Coal Supply

Bhubaneswar: Utkal Chamber Of Commerce & Industry Ltd (UCCI), an association of industries in Odisha has sought personal intervention of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for adequate supply of coal to local industries.  

UCCI President Brahma Mishra has written a letter to the Chief Minister, in this regard on Friday. In the letter, Mishra thanked the CM for providing continued support in promoting industries in the State.

“We would like to bring to your kind attention the current acute coal shortage situation in the state with many units having stock out or critical coal stock seriously affecting the viable operation of the industrial units,” Mr.Mishra said in the letter.

While the suffering of small and medium industries are increasing day by day, large process industries like steel plants, Aluminium smelters etc. are operating at a level where their operations are likely to become unviable if the situation continues unabated, he said.

Since these units with small and medium industries of the State provide employment to lakhs of people the association apprehended that the coal shortage situation may give deadly blow to the continuance of the employment of these people.

Though the State is blessed with abundant coal reserves, Odisha-based local industries are facing a coal deficit and forced to import coal /power as they are not getting enough share of coal, he said.  

The State has coal reserves (about 25% of country deposits), and through Coal India Ltd (CIL) subsidiary Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) produces ~150 million tons of coal. The Odisha based power plants (16000 MW) requires 90-95 million tonnes of coal per annum, which is ~60% of Odisha’s coal production for cost-effective sustainable industry operations.

However, over 65 per cent of Odisha’s coal is being supplied to power plants based in other States. Hence, the Odisha-based local industries are facing a coal deficit and are forced to import coal /power as they are getting less than 45% of Odisha’s coal production, the UCCI further said.

“This is depriving the State from domestic value addition and creating local jobs and MSMEs within Odisha. Also the acute coal shortage in the State is jeopardizing the manufacturing sector in the State further hurting the sentiments of global investors,” Mr.Mishra pointed out.

In this regard, the industry body requested the CM to intervene in the issue and support for survival of the industry sector in the State.

Further, the UCCI requested the Government of Odisha to communicate to Ministry of Coal to give necessary direction to MCL and CIL to step up supply of coal to local industries in the State so that stock out of coal is obviated and safe level of coal stock is maintained in critical units to prevent any eventualities in operations.