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    Default FICCI for opening up coal sector

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    The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) has made a strong pitch for privatising Coal India, while expressing concern about the country's energy security.

    Stating that the country's energy security was under grave threat, FICCI President R. V. Kanoria called for radical reforms to break the monopoly of public sector Coal India and also attract investments in the oil and gas sectors.

    Addressing the media here on the eve of FICCI's national executive meeting on Monday, he said the power sector continued to be throttled due to lack of availability of coal supplies, inadequate investments in coal exploration and high international spot prices. Energy shortage was crippling the industry even as the demand-supply gap was widening.

    He also pressed for rationalisation of subsidies on petroleum products and encouragement to renewable energy sector to reduce the mounting fuel import bill. At present, India imported 73 per cent of oil, 20 per cent of natural gas which were expected to rise during the XII Plan. Coal imports would reach 400 million tonnes in 20 years.
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