Tata seeks govt's help for affordable electricity

Tata seeks govt's help for affordable electricity

Tata Group Chairman Ratan Tata has sought the government’s intervention to problems of land and coal availability that is posing a challenge for the power sector making it difficult to provide electricity at affordable rates.

Stating there are challenges which cannot be met by the private sector alone, Tata said, “The government will have to play an important role, especially in the main fuel being the coal for meeting the increasing energy requirements...” He was speaking at the 93rd annual general meeting (AGM) of Tata Power here on Friday last. Continuing in the same vein, Tata said there is question on coal and land auction, which will be the concern to be addressed later. He added, “Availability of energy at affordable rates will be a challenge.”

A CAG Report on Friday categorically blamed the government for its failure to timely implement the competitive bidding mechanism for allocation of coal blocks, saying part of the Rs 1.86 lakh crore loss could have been tapped, had the procedure been put in place earlier.

Companies such as Tata Steel and Tata Power have been named in the CAG report among companies which got the blocks in various states. Ratan Tata said challenges for Tata Power stem from land acquisition, environmental clearances and availability of coal.

“There is a shortage of domestic coal and the gas is expensive. There is need to encourage gas-based plants through policy decision,” he said.

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