February 13, 2018

Speaking at NLCIL Press Conference, in New Delhi

Thank you very much Mr Acharya. At the outset, permit me to introduce Suresh Kumarji, additional secretary in the Ministry of Coal; Sharad Acharya, of course, you all know has been CMD of Neyveli Lignite Corporation, which is now NLC India Limited, Madam Sharan has joined as Chief of PIB in the Coal and Railway Ministry.

I have four colleagues here, Mr Animesh Bharti, joint secretary; Mr Rajesh Sinha, joint secretary; Mr Niranjan Kumar Sudhanshu, joint secretary; and Ms Reena Sinha, joint secretary. Coal secretary is travelling today; we also have the finance director of NLC Limited, and the HR director, Vikram.

Why I introduce everybody is even after the press conference is over, I would encourage you to talk to all my colleagues, if you have any questions or anything that you want more detailed clarification, I am sure they will all be delighted to interact with you.

कई बार यह मेरे ऊपर आरोप लगता है कि मैं कोयले के पत्रकारों से मिलता नहीं हूँ जितना मिलना चाहिए तो मुझे लगा कि अच्छा रहेगा कि थोड़ा बीच-बीच में हम लोग मिलते रहें और इस आरोप से मैं मुक्ति पाऊँ|

तो कल जब आचार्या साहब मेरे पास आये थे और अपना रिपोर्ट कार्ड बता रहे थे किस प्रकार से गत तीन-साढ़े तीन वर्षों में ऐतिहासिक परिवर्तन NLC में हुआ है तो मुझे लगा कि यह वास्तव में unsung story है भारत के कोयले और लिग्नाइट के कामकाज में| आप सबका भी ध्यान आकर्षित रहता है कोल इंडिया के ऊपर, स्वाभाविक है बड़ी कंपनी है, बड़ा वर्चस्व है, लेकिन एक छोटे से ऑपरेशन से कैसे चीज़ बड़ी हो सकती है और आगे चलकर जिसके…

There is a lot of talk and lot of interest in what is happening with Coal India Limited, but somehow, over the years, we have neglected to see the outstanding and historic performance that NLC India Limited has been quietly in a subtle fashion been achieving over the last three and a half years. And I thought it deserves recognition, as he said, recognition is the greatest motivator. So, the idea is that we should all know what’s happening and what the ambitious plans of NLC are going forward.

I remember, about two years ago or two and a half years ago, I visited NLC and they were making a perspective plan of what they are planning by 2025. And at that point of time, we re-wrote the entire future agenda of NLC, collectively, between the management and the department. And I am delighted to share with you that they have truly given some outstanding results in the last three years.

If I may venture to highlight some of the significant achievements, their mining capacity increased from 41 million tonnes per annum in March 2014 to 61.6 million tonnes – nearly a 20 million tonne increase in the last three and a half years, in mining that’s not a small achievement. And within that, the coal mining capacity almost tripled from 11 million tonnes to 31 million tonnes, so now they are becoming a significant player in coal mining, which I think many people never realized it. And they already have some more mines which are soon going to be opened up, which will take this probably to 50 or 60 million tonnes. So, effectively, they will almost once again double this 31 million tonnes capacity.

In power generation, they have been able to double in the last 4 years. From 2700 MW to 5700 MW by March 2018, so literally, from March 2014 to March 2018 they would have more than doubled the power generation capacity of NLC Limited. Out of that, 90% increase has been there in the thermal power capacity that they have, from 2740 MW to 5200 MW. But in solar energy, their plan by 2025 is to rapidly scale up to 13,700 MW, by 2025, so over the next 7 years they are going to add nearly 13,000 MW of capacity – 13,700 will be the total, of which solar will be 4000 MW.

They are now investing in solar assets, so that they can also become a serious player in the renewable energy sector. They are also having a discussion and dialogue with the Indian railways. Indian railways plans to have a bidding process to soon come out for expanding the solar footprint of railways where also NLC is having very aggressive plans and will be bidding very aggressively to try and win those contracts through the bidding process.

So, renewable energy, they already have about 191 MW today, it will become 300 MW by March 2018, and by 2025, it’s actually 4,250 MW that they are planning. So, almost 24% of their 13,700 MW will be renewable energy.

There is also a discussion going on between government of West Bengal to get approval for transferring the Raghunathpur power plant from DVC (Damodar Valley Corporation) to NLC Limited, for which we are awaiting approval from the government of West Bengal for almost 2 years now. So, if they had given us permission two years ago, by now we could have actually started that Raghunathpur plant and it would have started serving the people of India.

Unfortunately, DVC has a precarious financial position, and doesn’t have adequate PPAs, because of which that plant is almost at a standstill. I would urge the West Bengal government to give us approval, so we can transfer the Raghunathpur power plant.

I am also very happy to look at the performance that they have achieved in recent times. Last year, 2016-17, they achieved the highest ever performance, both physical and financial, since inception of the company 60 years ago. The lignite production was about 27.6 million tonnes, 8.5% growth over the previous year, power generation was 21 billion units, about 9.65% growth over the previous year. Turnover increased to 8,672 crores, which is 30% increase over the previous year. Profit Before Tax increased to 3,027 crores – an increase of 57% over the previous year, and the Profit After Tax 2,369 crores – an increase of 96% over the previous year. Because of better financial management and their capex plans they were able to enjoy more depreciation, bring down the tax burden and increase their PAT by 96%.

The dividend that they gave was 73.4%, which is nearly 30% more than the previous year. It just gives you a sense of the level of growth within one year. The average PLF of their thermal plants was 74% despite having a 55-year old plant; in that 55-year old plant also PLF was 70%. Now, of course, they are replacing that 55-year old plant with a modern plant. The new plant should be up and about soon and then the old plant will be phased out to reduce the impact on environment.

The contribution to the national exchequer was 4,965 crores, as against 1,975 crores in the previous year – an increase of 151%. So they are contributing to providing healthcare, they are contributing to provide free electricity connections under Soubhagya, they are contributing to provide free LPG connections under Ujjwala. NLC has become an important element of the national effort to serve the poor, serve the marginalized and deprived sections of society by contributing two and a half times what they were doing earlier to the national exchequer.

Apart from that, they are also providing water in very large measure to Chennai city. No, no, it’s a indirect comment I am making. When NLC pays higher amount to the national exchequer, you have more funds with the central government and the state governments to be able to serve the poor. It’s not that they are funding Soubhagya, that’s being funded by the central government. But I am saying when they contribute more, indirectly they are contributing to serve the poor, because budget gets that much more strength and funds.

In the current year, this pace of growth is going to continue and even in terms of CSR, in terms of giving water to the people of Chennai, which is usually always suffering from water shortages. In terms of spending on learning and development initiatives, skill development, in terms of research and development, in every parameter their plans are to aggressively grow spending, grow investments by NLC Limited. Skill development alone, they have increased their spending in the last 3 years from 4.5 crores to 10 crores. That is the level of scale-up.

I am delighted to share with you that the market cap of this company has grown from 10,259 crores in March 2014 to 16,409 crore as on March 2017, giving a growth of nearly 60% in market cap. Similarly, the share price increased from Rs 61 to Rs 107 in this 3-year period.

The employee cost as a percentage of turnover fell from 36.78% to 26.46%, showing greater efficiency and showing the employee cost as a percentage of total cost reducing from 46.6% to 37.37%. So, really more efficiency, more productivity in the public sector units is a matter of great satisfaction for all of us. And their return on net worth has gone up from 10.82% to 19.66% – 81% growth in return on net worth.

All in all, it shows a very good robust financial performance, a great amount of consciousness to provide for the future of the country – power, water availability, more jobs for people through mining, through new power plants coming up. They are now setting up a power plant Ghatampur in Uttar Pradesh, which will be a 1,980 MW power plant to serve the northern region. So, they are moving out of south, having a footprint in the east, if they get the permission for Raghunathpur plant, having a footprint in Ghatampur, serving northern India and truly becoming a pan-India Navratna, which India can be proud of, which the people of India can be proud of, becoming a catalyst to accelerate economic growth of India, developing more and more renewable energy, clean energy, showing sensitivity to climate change, creating new jobs for people across the country.

And, in some sense, meeting the promise or the vision of Bharat Ratna Babasaheb Ambedkar whose view was that the state should provide protection against economic exploitation – by such good performance, our PSUs are showing even to the private sector what good management is, how good companies are run and making sure that the entire power landscape in India continues to be affordable, competitive and reaching out to the poorest sections of the country.

I just thought it will be good to share this success story with all of you and I do hope it will make each one of you feel proud that our government companies can also give such earth-shattering results as NLC India Limited has done.

Thank you very much.


Question and Answer

Q: सर power plants में CRE का जो कोयले का storage होता है power plants के लिए वह shortage हो रहा है, कई ऐसे power plants हैं, क्योंकि अब गर्मी भी शुरू होने वाली है, winter भी जा रहा है, ऐसे में अपनी क्या कुछ तैयारी है खासकर कोयले के उत्पादन को लेकर| और दूसरा सवाल यह है कि जो MP हैं तृणमूल कांग्रेस के, डेरेक ओ ब्रायन, उन्होंने लेटर लिखा है आपको तो क्या कुछ उसपर …?

A: मुझे तो चिट्ठी नहीं लिखी है, वह शायद मार्किट में चिट्ठियां लिख रहे हैं, मुझे लिखने में डरते हैं क्योंकि फिर उनका फर्दाफाश हो जायेगा|

Q: हाँ तो उनका चिट्ठी जिस तरह से आया सर?

A: उनका तो कुछ शायद एनडीटीवी पर ही आया है, एनडीटीवी की वेबसाइट पर, और तो मुझे किधर देखने को मिला नहीं| लेकिन असलियत यह है कि डेरेक ओ ब्रायन बहुत कम जानकारी रखते हैं, मुझे दुःख होता है कि इतना सीनियर पार्लियामेंटेरियन होते हुए उनकी समझ इतनी कमज़ोर है कि कुछ-कुछ बेबुनियाद चीज़ों पर वह प्रश्न उठा रहे हैं| उदाहरण के लिए ऑपरेटिंग रेश्यो की बात उन्होंने उठाई है, अब ऑपरेटिंग रेश्यो की बात उठाते हुए वह यह भूल जाते हैं बताना कि यह उनकी पार्टी थी ममता बनर्जी जब रेलवे मिनिस्टर थी और दिनेश त्रिवेदी बाद में रेलवे मिनिस्टर बने जिन्होंने रेलवेज के finances को सुधारने के लिए कुछ योजना बनाई तो बेचारे को जॉब से ही निकाल दिया, उनको मंत्री पद से ही हटा दिया ममता बनर्जी जी ने|

तो उनको तो कोई अधिकार नहीं बनता है ऑपरेटिंग रेश्यो और एफिशिएंसी की चर्चा करने, वह तो वास्तव में रेस्पोंसिबल हैं रेलवेज को आज की इस परिस्थिति में पहुँचाने के लिए| अब पूरे देश में मेट्रो हर एक स्टेट गवर्नमेंट की है, स्टेट गवर्नमेंट चलाती है, ममता बनर्जी जी जब थोड़े ही अरसे के लिए रेलवे मिनिस्टर बनी उन्होंने उठाकर कोलकाता की मेट्रो रेलवे के सर पर डाल दी और रेलवे का बर्डन बना दिया उसका लॉस| तो इसकी ज़िम्मेदारी उसके लॉस की जो आज पूरे देश के लोगों को भुगतनी पड़ रही है उसकी ज़िम्मेदारी तो सीधा-सीधा ममता बनर्जी और उनकी पार्टी पर जाता है|

तो उनकी सोच इतनी सीमित है, और वह डेरेक ओ ब्रायन की सोच भी मुझे लगता है वहीँ से आती है| मुझे उनके कोई भी 12 क्वेश्चन में कोई ऐसा तत्व नहीं दिखा जिसमें कुछ जवाब दें, अभी उन्होंने डेप्रिसिएशन रिज़र्व फंड के लिए कहा, उन्होंने कहा कि डेप्रिसिएशन रिज़र्व फंड को रिड्यूस कर दिया है 5,000 करोड़ से 500 करोड़| अब उनको क्या बताएं उनको पढ़ना शायद आता नहीं है रेलवे डॉक्यूमेंट और बजट के डॉक्यूमेंट, पहेल सीधा बजट से 5,000 करोड़ डेप्रिसिएशन फंड में आता था उसके बदले अभी हमने रेलवे से प्रोवाइड किया| तो 5,000 करोड़ सेम अमाउंट है लेकिन दुर्भाग्य से उनकी समझ शायद इसमें कम हैं उसकी जानकारी चाहिए तो रेलवे के कोई अधिकारी को बुलाया जा सकता है जो उसकी डिटेल में जानकारी दे देंगे|

अब यह CAGR was 6% from ‘000 to ‘14, and  down to 2% as per my calculation, तो मेहरबानी करके वह अपनी calculations देश के समक्ष रख दें क्योंकि उनकी calculations हमारे रिकॉर्ड तो बता नहीं रहे हैं, तो अब उनकी कैसे calculation उनके पास कोई नया इकोनॉमिक मॉडल होगा जैसे जब चिदंबरम साहब पार्लियामेंट में बजट में बोल रहे थे तो उन्होंने कहा कि fiscal imprudence यह सरकार ने किया| अब हमने तो 3.2% फिस्कल डेफिसिट घाटा घटाया, महंगाई घटाई, फिस्कल डेफिसिट घटाया, करंट अकाउंट डेफिसिट घटाया, इकोनॉमिक ग्रोथ सुधारी, अगर इसको वह fiscal imprudence बोलते हैं तो जो 6% उनके समय में फिस्कल डेफिसिट थी, जो महंगाई डबल डिजिट थी, जो इकोनॉमिक ग्रोथ 5.5% पर आ गयी थी वह ज्यादा समझदारी और अच्छा काम था तो यह एक नयी इकोनॉमिक्स है जो हम सबको सीखना पड़ेगा|

और जब वह बोल रहे थे तो डेरेक ओ ब्रायन बड़ी तालियाँ मार रहे थे पार्लियामेंट में, तो मुझे लगता है कांग्रेस और तृणमूल कांग्रेस, दोनों एक तरीके की समझ रखते हैं और दोनों को इस समझ के लिए जनता ने अच्छा सबक सिखाया है और आगे चलकर और सिखाएगी| इनके सभी प्रश्न ऐसे ही हैं, कुछ मुझे कोई तत्व दिखता नहीं है|

यह कह रहे हैं कि separate railway budget निकाला, favoritism to particular states के लिए| सही बात है क्योंकि आप सब जानते हो कि अनाप शनाप घोषणाएं होती थी सिर्फ राजनीतिक घोषणाएं जैसे ममता जी करती थी रेलवे मिनिस्टर के नाते, लेकिन वह कोई कार्यान्वित होती नहीं थी| हम जो कहते हैं वह करते हैं, उनके समय का कैपेक्स निकाल लो और हमारे समय का निकाल लो, आपको ज़मीन-आसमान का फर्क दिखेगा, जिसको अंग्रेजी में chalk and cheese कहते हैं|

तो वह पहले जवाब दें कि जब वह रेलवे मंत्री थी तब उनके फाइनेंस मिनिस्टर उनको पैसे क्यों नहीं देते थे, तब क्यों नहीं कैपेक्स होता था? तब सुरक्षा के ऊपर 73,000 करोड़ जो हम खर्च रहे हैं इस साल सेफ्टी में, तब क्यों नहीं ममता जी ने किया? क्यों इतनी बुरी हालत में मुझे इंडियन रेलवेज, 2014 में इस सरकार को मिली विरासत में? उस सबकी ज़िम्मेदार सीधा-सीधा तृणमूल कांग्रेस और कांग्रेस पार्टी है, जवाब तो उनको देना है|

और यह कह रहे हैं कि एलोकेशन कम हो गया बजट में, वास्तव में वेस्ट बंगाल के लिए सबसे ज्यादा एलोकेशन हुआ है, जबकि वहां खर्चना सबसे मुश्किल है, न वह ज़मीन देने में हमें मदद करते हैं, न कोई कोऑपरेशन करते हैं जब प्रोजेक्ट लगाना हो| मेट्रो पर हम सुधार कर रहे हैं, उसको बढ़ा रहे हैं उसमें हमको लैंड लेकर नहीं देते हैं|

पूरी नॉन-कोऑपरेशन है वेस्ट बंगाल सरकार की, बेबुनियाद बात करते हैं उनके सांसद और उनकी राज्य सरकार और पूरी तरीके से ज़िम्मेदारी उनके ऊपर है कि रेलवे का विस्तार नहीं हो पा रहा है| उसके बावजूद सभी राज्यों में सबसे ज्यादा पैसा वेस्ट बंगाल को allot हुआ है जो जानकारी भी हमारे अधिकारी आपको दे सकते हैं| क्योंकि उनको पढ़ना नहीं आता है बजट तो शायद उनकी समझ के हिसाब से वह समझ नहीं पाए होंगे| और अगर उनको लगता है कम है तो मैं वास्तव में कम कर देता हूँ और बहुत स्टेट्स हैं जो कोआपरेट करके अपने वहां पर काम तेज़ गति से बढ़ाना चाहते हैं| तो वह तय कर लें कि वह अगर कोआपरेट करेंगे, ज़मीन देंगे तो पैसा खर्चा हो पायेगा, नहीं तो सिर्फ वह राजनीति करते रहेंगे तो कोई फायदा नहीं होगा|

बाकी सब ऐसे ही कुछ चीज़ें उन्होंने रेज किये हैं| वैसे रेलवेज पर अलग से चर्चा होने वाली है अगले सत्र में तो उस सत्र में इस सबका जवाब दूंगा, वह चीखते-चिल्लाते रहे कि एफएम ने क्यों नहीं जवाब दिया, एफएम को बड़ी पिक्चर देश के सामने रखनी होती है| 50 सांसद या 40 सांसद जो बोले हर एक के हर विषय पर नहीं जो डिपार्टमेंट का विषय है वह हम सब जवाब देंगे उसका|

तो इनके यह पहले 6 क्वेश्चन और मैंने बाद के भी 6 देखे, कोई तत्व मुझे तो उसमें दिख नहीं रहा है|

Each of the bullet train project cost 180 crores, DFC, the Aaloo Sabzi Corridor cost 23 crore a kilometer! अब इतनी कम समझ रखने वाले आदमी को क्या आदमी जवाब दे| DFC ordinary जो regular railway line है वह ज़मीन पर लगती है, बुलेट ट्रेन एलिवेटेड होती है, underground समुद्र में tunnel के through जाती है जिससे passengers को safety, security सुनिश्चित हो जाये| बुलेट ट्रेन की स्पीड 350 किलोमीटर तक जाती है, DFC की स्पीड जो regular 100-150, जिसमें goods train तो और कम होती है| तो अब दुर्भाग्य से नासमझ आदमी को मैं educate करते रहूँ, वह मैं House में कर दूंगा|

प्रश्न: सर कोयले को लेकरके जो पॉवर प्लांट्स को देना था, काफी shortage काफी प्लांट्स में सर उसकी तैयारी को लेकर?

उत्तर: वह तो स्वाभाविक है कि, बहुत अच्छी बात है कि डिमांड पहली बार बढ़ रहा है, मैं तो दो साल से परेशान था कि कोयले के स्टॉक बढ़ते जा रहे थे, डिमांड कोयले की कम थी| आप जानते हो 1 अप्रैल 2017 को 69 million tonnes, I had 69 million tonnes stock, उसको पहले liquidate करना पड़ा और production को regulate करना पड़ा, कम करना पड़ा|

I had to reduce production of coal, because the states were not lifting coal and stocking up to the desired level as stipulated by the Central Electricity Authority. Now they have started lifting, so obviously, we will start increasing production. In the meantime, there has been a supreme court order because of which many new mines’ EC has not been available, which we are trying to sort out between the Environment Ministry, Mining Ministry and the Coal Ministry. I think in the next few days that will get sorted out, and then we will be able to quickly ramp up production further.


Secretary: The water comes out of all three mines is divided for irrigation, because the local population there in (inaudible) and surrounding areas, they keep on demanding for that and Chennai required water mostly in December time, it’s more, so we increase depending on the requirement. Because once we send that side, and for irrigation also this side needs to be (inaudible). So, depending on the requirement we (inaudible), but at present we are giving something around 14 million litres a day.

Q: Sir, sometime back you had mentioned that all vacant land of the railways will be used for setting up solar power, and you had said that NLC will be given the responsibility for it, sir is there an update on that?

A: Yeah, after discussions in the railway board, and rightly so, the railway board took a decision let’s do competition. If NLC is giving us a certain offer, let’s see if some other people give us even better offer than that, which I thought was a very good idea. It is aligned with my own thinking. So, railway board is planning to come out with a RFP, and we will be asking all companies to compete and then NLC will have to compete in that. And he has assured me that he will compete aggressively, so that he also benefits, I mean ‘he’ as in NLC also benefits and the railways also benefits by low cost of power.

It will be about 3000 odd, roughly 3000 MW is it?

Secretary: Yes, they indicated something around 1,500 MW now, and in future also further second stage will be there.

A: So, total will be about 3000 MW. We may do two-stage bidding, right now we will do 1,500, because prices are falling so who knows we may get it cheaper second time around.


Secretary: In fact, this is the plant where we awarded the (inaudible) package within 7 days after getting the PIB clearance. So, the boiler package is by L&T, MHP, and then the turbine package is by GE, and (inaudible) plant by BGR. And the works were going on full swing, but after the elections, new government came in. There was some disturbance for a period of two months from Bhartiya Kisan Mazdoor union, now it has been sorted out. We are getting all government help, work is going on full swing, and whatever is lost in two months we are trying to make it up. We will make it up.

A: In seven days after PIB clearance to give an order itself is a new style of working that this company has shown.

Q: Sir, is the railways prepared to supply 288 rakes of coal per day, as estimated by the (inaudible)?

A: Right now, we had about 260 – plus or minus 5 or 10, we are ramping up to go up to 300 and going further forward, Coal India has taken an in-principle decision to start owning their own rakes. And over the next 5 to 7 years, there is a very ambitious plan to own the total rake requirement of Coal India Limited for which railways is now coming out with a new scheme for anybody who wants to own their own rakes. That will ensure that rake availability will never be a problem for coal supply by Coal India. It will also encourage private sector to participate by owning their own rakes and lessen the burden on railways while expanding economic activity in the county. So, my own sense is you will see a lot of jobs being created in the entire ecosystem around the railways in the next few months and years.

I was doing one assessment according to which nearly 3 million people, 30 lakh people, will get work in the ecosystem of the railways as all these projects start getting activated.

Q: Sir, for 5 to 7 years?

A: For what? For Coal India to own its own rakes? 5 to 7 years, we don’t have that much manufacturing capacity in India.

Q: solar-operated किया गया है, DMU trains जो हैं उसको solar-operated किया गया है….?

A: DMU trains वाला मामला तो चला नहीं, वह फेल हो गया तो हमने बंद कर दिया है वह|

Q: तो क्या है overall योजना और उसमें NLC का participation भी आप कह रहे हैं और भी ….?

A: वह तो बिडिंग में जो चुनकर आएगा उसका participation रहेगा और योजना यह है कि जो कम से कम खर्चे में हमारी ज़मीन पर या खुद की ज़मीन पर अलग-अलग उसके पहलू होंगे, हमें बिजली उपलब्ध कराए तो हमारी बिजली का खर्चा भी कम होगा रेलवे का| तो कोशिश है कि हम हर चीज़ में efficiently रेलवेज को चलायें| और हमें डिस्ट्रीब्यूशन लाइसेंस होने के कारण जब मैं विद्युत मंत्री था रेलवेज को डिस्ट्रीब्यूशन लाइसेंस दिया था तो हम अपनी खुद की बिजली जब बनाते हैं तो हमें कोई एक्स्ट्रा चार्ज नहीं लगता है उसके ऊपर|

Q: Private project, are there any more stressed assets or other private projects you are looking to…(inaudible)?

Secretary: Yes, for the stressed power assets, we had taken out three rounds of expressions of interest and we had shortlisted two, one was DVC which our (inaudible) are mentioned. All the formalities, including the JV agreement was created two years back and we got the clearance from Ministry of Coal, Ministry of Power and, of course, till date the consent from the government of West Bengal is awaited. Because DVC was created as a corporation, but West Bengal government also has its stake. The other property is the new property of GMR Chhattisgarh, so that was, in fact, taken over by the lenders. We have been in talks with the lenders, due diligence is complete, but recently the SDR route is closed. And now, they come out with the expression of bids, bidding as a government company we had some limitations, but yes, we have suggested a model where if lenders could come by converting the debt into a part of equity, we will come in as a major equity partner and then we will run the power station and the dividend could be shared. Let us see if the model works out, this will also work out.

Q: Sir, actually what happened that after allocation of solar power companies had bid at some rate that this much for one unit, per unit…

A: You will have to address that to the Power Minister please, I am not the Power Minister admin.

Q: I am asking Mr Acharya, my question directed to Mr Acharya, he is in solar power. So, after that custom duty on solar panels have been increased and some companies are saying that they may not provide power at that cost, so does NLC also face this kind of problem, what’s your take on it?

Secretary: No, not as of today. Because the investment is made at what point of time, it matters. The first pilot project of 10 MW we made, the cost was something around 7.5 crores per MW that time and we got Rs 7.10 PPA, that’s still being honored. The next slot of 130 MW we got again through (inaudible) tarrif, Rs 5.10 and the investment that time something was around Rs 5 crores if I remember per MW. And now, through competitive bidding, we own (inaudible), that is for Rs 4.21. And, the work has already started there, so this new thing will not affect that. And 709 MW, we got again through a competitive bidding with falling tariff at Rs 3.47. So, now Rs 7.10 we started, now it is Rs 3.47, but the solar modules and panels since at this point of time are becoming cheaper for investment, so now including 15 years maintenance, the cost is 4.5 crores per MW.

Q: Sir, talking about coal, I want to know one information from anyone of your side, what is the mining cost of coal in NLC?

A: There cannot be any fixed mining cost gentleman, it depends on mine to mine – what is the stripping ratio, what is the cost of land in that region, how deep the mine is, so this cannot be a standard price. It could vary from Rs 1 to Rs 100.

Q: What I have studied in CAG report which came over coal block allocation scam, it was perhaps more than marketed what Coal India was incurring for producing 1 tonne of coal that was around $550 that was more than the market rate…?

A: You will have to give a more specific question, please give us reference to your question what you are referring to and direct it to the Coal Ministry, they will give you a proper answer. Because what you are saying, there was nothing like that in the CAG report, but if you give us a specific part what you are referring to we will be able to happily respond to that.

Q: The cost of mining has decreased or still it is more than market rate?

A: I don’t know what you are referring to, there is no market rate. It depends mine to mine, as anybody who deals with coal will know. There cannot be a standard rate for mining.

Q: Sir, one of the purpose of privatizing coal block was …?

A: Please come with a detailed question with proper understanding, we will be able to respond.

Q: Is there no any specific figure on that?

A: There cannot be. It depends on each mine. As I said, it could be a factor of one, it could be a factor of a hundred. It depends. It can be underground, over ground. It can be on the surface, it can be 20 feet below the surface, land could be expensive, land could be cheap, there could be forests, there may not be forests, stripping rate may be different, the quality of coal may be different. So, you can’t have a one-size-fits-all formula.


A: I think I should be able to meet that demand. It should not be a problem. Now that the EC problem has got resolved, earlier we were a little concerned after the Supreme Court judgment. We were not getting EC approvals for many of our mines to expand capacity, plus I have allotted nearly 10 mines, 11 mines to the coal companies, which will now start working to try and open them up, so that not next year, but the year after that they can start getting operationalized. He is also going to operationalize these two mines in the next 18 months.

Q: Sir, you are considering further disinvestment in NLC?

A: Whenever it happens or it comes on the table, you will certainly come to know.

Q: Any percentage sir?

A: I am saying whenever it comes, right now there is not such proposal before us.

There is no such proposal on the table.

उत्तर: नहीं नहीं, वह घाटमपुर में श्रीप्रकाश जायसवाल जी ने लगवाया नहीं, लोगों को भ्रमित किया, आप ज़रा ग़लतफहमी को पहले ठीक कर लीजिये अनुज जी| उन्होंने एक पत्थर वहां पर ज़रूर रखा और उनके बड़े-बड़े नेता आये थे, वह खुद गए, अखिलेश यादव गए| न ज़मीन थी हाथ में, न पीआईबी अप्रूवल था, न ईसी अप्रूवल था, कुछ नहीं था, सिर्फ चुनाव आ रहा था एक जल्दबाज़ी में पत्थर रख दिया| हम जब काम करते हैं तो सब अप्रूवल के बाद उसके काम को शुरुआत करने के लिए मैं गया था और हमने शुरुआत उसके बाद तुरंत कर दिया, ज़मीन लेने के बाद पीआईबी अप्रूवल के साथ और जैसा इन्होंने बताया सात दिन में आर्डर प्लेस किया|

Thank you ladies and gentlemen.



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