coal sector Current Affairs
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The Ministry of Coal has launched UTTAM (Unlocking Transparency by Third Party Assessment of Mined Coal) Application for coal quality monitoring. The app aims to ensure transparency and efficiency in coal quality monitoring process and bring coal governance closer to people.
The app has been jointly developed by Ministry of Coal and Coal India Limited (CIL). The app has been designed for active participation of citizens as stakeholders in the coal ecosystem. The app seeks to monitor the process of Third Party Sampling of coal and coal dispatches across all the CIL subsidiaries. It will facilitate bidirectional channel between CIL and a common citizen.
The app provides coverage of Third Party Sampling which includes information on production, dispatch and quantity sampled of coal. It has interactive map based view to provide holistic coverage of coal quality across subsidiaries on quality parameters such as declared Gross Calorific Value (GCV), analysed GCV and coverage parameters such as location and quantity sampled.
The information provided by app will help citizens and coal consumers to compare and assess coal quality. It will provide proper mapping of grade of coal dispatched to the consumers. It also presents latest quantity sampled in of coal power and non-power sector, bringing transparency in coal quality assessment system.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved a new coal linkage policy to ensure adequate supply of the fuel to power plants through reverse auction. The new policy will help in ensuring fuel supplies to the power plants in an organised manner.
Though, the government’s initiatives and prevailing market conditions to a large extent has helped to bring down the prices of the dry fuel and boosted the domestic production, a proper mechanism for providing coal linkages to power plants at competitive rates was lacking. The new policy will address this issue and will ensure proper sourcing of the dry fuel by the power plants as per their schedules.
Coal linkage policy
Coal linkage policy is a policy designated by the union government for the allocation of coal among thermal power plants. Inadequate availability of domestic coal coupled with high price for imported coal requires the government to allocate the available coal rationally among the power plants. This is especially necessary as the coal producing firms are public sector companies. Also, the pricing of coal is an another important issue. In this context, the government designates coal linkage policies to allocate coal among different thermal power plants.