Union Minister of State for coal and power Piyush Goyal has made it clear that the government does not intend to unbundle the Coal India Limited (CIL), as suggested by the NITI Aayog.
Speaking to this newspaper, Goyal said that the NITI Aayog keeps on working on new ideas for transformation and it is one such idea. “But as far as the government is concerned, there is no such proposal to unbundle the CIL. It is not a government proposal,” he told this correspondent. Goyal clarified that the CIL would continue to remain one entity.
“The NITI Aayog comes out with several ideas. The government gives a thought on them. I can say it categorically that there is no such proposal with the government to break up the CIL, as suggested by the NITI Aayog,” he said, while commenting on The Sunday Guardian report “NITI Aayog’s suggestion to break up Coal India faces resistance”, published last Sunday .
NITI Aayog vice-chairman Arvind Panagariya, this is to be noted, had announced the proposal to unbundle the CIL to allow competition. He said auctions of coal mines are done, but still a large part of it is administrative allocation and that obviously has a not so good effect on price discovery. “It will have a favourable impact if we allow competition,” he had said.
The NITI Aayog is drafting a National Energy Policy and the idea of unbundling is a part of its deliberations. The policy is likely to answer issues related to the country’s transition to renewable energy and universal access to power by 2022, lowering the dependence on imports and increasing energy security.