Economy
PM asks Planning Commission to submit report on fuel shortages in 3 weeks

The ‘request’ comes amid acute fuel shortages that are impacting the country’s power generation and many projects are running below their capacity

New Delhi: Prime minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday asked the Planning Commission to make a quick review of fuel shortages faced by power plants and submit a report in three weeks, as part of efforts to resolve the urgent problem, reports PTI.

 

“Several chief ministers have drawn attention to the problem of fuel availability affecting power plants. This is indeed an urgent problem, which needs to be tackled. I am requesting the Planning Commission to make a quick review of the situation and submit a report to me within three weeks,” Singh said in his closing remarks at the 57th National Development Council (NDC) meeting.

 

The ‘request’ comes amid acute fuel shortages that are impacting the country’s power generation and many projects are running below their capacity.

 

“I would request all chief ministers to write to the deputy chairman of the Planning Commission giving details of plants, which they feel are adversely affected,” Singh said.

 

Fuel scarcity is a major issue hurting the power sector, which is expected to see generation capacity addition of about 88,000 MW in the 12th Five-Year Plan (2012-17).

 

There are also differences between many power producers and state-run Coal India, the largest supplier of the dry fuel in the country that is delaying the signing of Fuel Supply Agreements (FSAs).

 

Fuel supply pacts are yet to be signed for generation capacity of about 8,000 MW that are ready to be commissioned.

 

On 17th December, the Prime Minister’s Office directed power companies to enter into FSAs within a month.

 

The directive came after its November deadline for FSAs was missed, amid differences over various issues including coal quality.

 

Besides that, environmental hurdles are impacting the development of coal blocks required for power generation.

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Home ministry gets Rs52,839 crore allocation in 12th Plan

The highest allocation of Rs6,841 crore has been made in the 12th Plan for the National Population Register, a comprehensive identity database of every usual resident in the country being prepared by the Indian government

New Delhi: An outlay of Rs52,839 crore, which is 247% more than the previous plan, has been proposed for the home ministry in the draft 12th Five Year Plan put up before the National Development Council (NDC) on Thursday, reports PTI.

 

The highest Rs6,841 crore has been allocated for the National Population Register, a comprehensive identity database of every usual resident in the country being prepared by the Indian government.

 

 Rs3,751 crore has been allocated for modernisation of police forces, Rs3,360 crore for disaster management and Rs 900 crore has been allocated for crime and criminal tracking network and systems, which will facilitate collection, storage, analysis, transfer and sharing of data of crime and criminals between all police stations in the country.

 

“This outlay shows an increase of 247% over the allocation of Rs15,224 crore in the 11th Five Year Plan,” a home ministry official said.

 

Rs1,874 crore has been kept for modernisation of the Delhi Police, which is being controlled by the home ministry.

 

Rs890 crore has been earmarked for special industry initiative scheme, security related expenditure and for relief and rehabilitation scheme for Jammu and Kashmir.

 

Rs651 crore has been allocated for coastal securities schemes,

 

Rs207.54 crore has been allocated for Naxal management and Rs290 crore for North Eastern states.

 

There is also a proposal of Mega City Policing with a total outlay of Rs432 crore in six cities—Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Banglore, Ahmedabad and Hyderabad.

 

“The home ministry supports various programmes and schemes to strengthen internal security in the country. It also supports various state governments and Union Territories through its programmes and schemes,” the official said.

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West Bengal to ignore 27 December deadline for digitisation

“The analogue system will still continue. We will not accept the deadline as the ground reality in the state is different,” state urban development minister Firhad Hakim said

Kolkata: With the deadline for cable TV digitisation ending Thursday, 27 December 2012, a West Bengal minister said that the state government would ignore it as the ground reality in the state for its completion was different, reports PTI.

 

“After today the analogue system will still continue.

 

We will not accept the deadline as the ground reality in the state is different,” urban development minister Firhad Hakim said.

 

He said that many consumers had installed set-top boxes (STBs) and many were yet to install them because of shortage in supply of equipment and high price.

 

Hakim said that he had earlier requested the Centre to give sufficient time to complete digitisation and make some arrangement so that poor people could purchase STBs.

 

He assured multi-system operators that the state government would take appropriate steps at the appropriate time against the Centre’s “whimsical attitude”.

 

“Since sudden black-out can invite law and order problems, the state government will not hesitate to take tough steps against the Centre’s stand if the deadline is not deferred till the state is ready for digitisation,” Hakim said.

 

On 17th December, a team of multi-system operators had been called to Delhi by the ministry of information and been cautioned to complete digitisation within 27th December or have their licence cancelled.

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