Welcoming Supreme Court judgement as ending of uncertainty, Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal today said the government is ready to act quickly once the court delivers its final view on the coal mines allocation, which it has declared illegal.
The government is awaiting Supreme Court to deliver its final view on how the mines “illegally” allocated between 1993 and 2010 should be treated, Goyal told reporters here.
Later, Goyal went to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“The fact that this has brought to finality and closure a dispute or problem that has been for many years … (It is) a big plus for the Indian economy. I think in fact they should have been immensely pleased that the economy can now move forward rapidly rather being cast with the shadow of uncertainty,” he said.
He said the clarity of law in policy and certainty of future are the “hallmarks of a good economy and will be liked by the investor community”, with coal sector poised for progress after being in “limbo” for long.
His remarks follow the Supreme Court ruling that all coal block allocations between 1993 and 2010 had been done in an illegal manner by an “ad-hoc and casual” approach “without application of mind”.
“I would look forward to finality in the matter of coal block allocations, which have for several years now kept the sector in limbo, and with the finality that one can expect very soon, I hope that the sector can start progressing,” he said.
“I respect the judgement of the Supreme Court and am also happy that they have set a date for further hearing,” he added.
Goyal said economy can now move forward rather been cast in shadow of uncertainty and the government is ready to act quickly post the apex court’s final order.
“I am happy that the Supreme Court has been pleased to announce part of the judgement today. We were eagerly waiting for the judgement for the last eight months … I hope the work to start acting on the judgement and delivering coal to increase electricity generation in the country and reduce the imports can be expedited,” Goyal said.
He said coal is “very critical” and as the judgement very rightly states “coal is king and paramount lord of industry and I am pleased the court has recognised that.”
He expressed confidence that the government would be able to fulfil its promise of “twenty four by seven power supply” to the masses and the judgement will go a long way in helping it achieve its goals.
Goyal dismissed questions regarding if the apex court will decide for “de-allocation” saying it “hypothetical” to assume what the court would decide but said it “it is important that there is finality to this dispute”.
“Whatever the court decides will be respected and will only help us to move forward”, he said adding, whatever decision it took would be “in the interest of the country.”
The apex court bench said as allocation made both under the Screening Committee route and the Government dispensation route, are arbitrary and illegal, further hearing was needed to determine the consequences for which it would hear the matter on September 1.
When asked about the Supreme Court’s stay on electricity appellate tribunal Aptel’s interim order on compensatory tariff, Goyal said, “Those plants were allotted on the basis of International Competitive Bidding and that process should be respected.”
Aptel in its order had allowed Tata Power and Adani Power to charge hiked tariff from March 2014.