New Delhi: With the worst power blackout in India affecting almost half the country and causing business losses of thousands of crores of rupees, India Inc on Tuesday called for raising capacity in the power sector on a war footing.
"Availability of coal and gas is a pre-requisite for spurring investments in the power sector. Reforms that would help make coal and gas available as per the nation's requirements must no longer be held back," said RV Kanoria, FICCI president.
Kanoria also suggested specific measures in view of the power crisis: "If Coal India Limited is unable to meet the coal requirements of industry and the power sector, then the government must think of breaking it down in smaller segments that would be more manageable. Alternatively, the responsibility for management of coal mines can be shared with the private sector for bringing in greater efficiency in operations".
Chandrajit Banerjee, director general, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) said the underlying issues behind the widening demand-supply gap for electricity needs to be urgently addressed.
"CII has consistently been highlighting that urgent steps need to be taken for addressing key issues ailing the power sector, such as improving the supply of coal for thermal power plants, rationalizing tariffs and reforming the state distribution utilities," Banerjee said.
Noida-based textiles machines manufacturer, Mohinder Pal Singh, a representative of the Noida Entrepreneurs Association, estimated the losses caused by the outage to business in the Noida and Greater Noida area of Uttar Pradesh to be in the vicinity of Rs 100 crore.
"My own small business has lost half a million rupees in these power disruptions and the total loss to business in the entire Noida-Greater Noida industrial belt would not be less than 100 crore rupees," Singh told IANS.