BHUBANESWAR: The demand for coal by the micro, small and medium entrepreneurs (MSMEs) in the State has come down drastically after the expose of the linkage coal scam in 2010.
The State Government has approved distribution of 51,000 tonnes of coal among MSMEs for the current financial year as against 50,959 tonnes in 2011-12. The National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC) is the only designated government agency for distribution of coal.
The Directorate of Industries had recommended to the State Government for allocation of 2 lakh tonnes of coal in favour of NSIC, a Central Government agency, for distribution among the MSMEs operating under 31 district industries centres (DICs).
Industries Minister Raghunath Mohanty has reportedly directed the department to allocate the same quantity of coal the Central agency distributed among the MSMEs.
Even after the expose of the scam, the State Government allotted four lakh tonnes of coal for distribution to three designated agencies in June 2010. The Orissa Small Industries Corporation (OSIC) was allotted two lakh tonnes of coal while the Orissa Consumer Cooperative Federation (OCCF) and NSIC were given a lakh tonne each.
As the Opposition parties demanded resignation of two Ministers for their alleged involvement in the coal scam and a CBI probe into it, the State
Government nominated NSIC as the sole agency for coal distribution for the 31 DICs. The central agency could distribute only 21,598 tonnes of coal among 29 units in 2010-11.
OSIC and OCCF were the agencies for distribution of coal in 2008-09 and 2009-10. OSIC had distributed 88,000 tonnes of coal out of an allotment of three lakh tonnes among 216 units in 2008-09 while OCCF had distributed 35,000 tonnes out of 60,000 tonnes among 15 units during the same period.
There was spurt in coal demand among the MSMEs in 2009-10. While OSIC distributed 1.86 lakh tonnes of coal among 225 units out of an allotment of three lakh tonnes, OCCF claimed to have supplied more than 66,000 tonnes during the same period.
As per the New Coal Distribution Policy (NCDP), annual coal requirement of an MSME should not be more than 4,200 tonne. Industrial units having coal requirement of more than 4,200 tonnes will have to take coal directly from Mahanadi Coalfields Limited, a subsidiary of Coal India.
Coal requirement of individual units is decided after a joint assessment of the installed capacity volume of finished products sold the previous year, quantity of coal consumed and quantity of coal recommended to the State nodal agency in the previous year. This exercise should be completed by March-end every year.
After capacity and requirement of coal of a unit are determined, DIC general manager will recommend the case to the specified State-nominated agency for distribution of coal with the approval of the district collector. Copies of the recommendations are to be submitted to the Director of Industries.