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Fuel shortage is restraining the growth of power sector and itneeds to be addressed at the earliest, Power Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia saidtoday.
"Major challenge is securing fuel supplies. Though India hasthe world's fourth largest reserves of coal and has recently made gasdiscoveries that are notable even by global standards, inadequate fuel suppliesare constraining the growth of power sector," he said at an event here.
"In the past few years, India's fuel imports have increasedsubstantially and are likely to continue to be so if the current situationprevails, subjecting electricity prices to volatile international fuel pricesand shortages.
"In order to bridge the gap between demand and supply ofpower, especially in the context of limited financial resources available, ithas become imperative to look for other options which are not as capitalintensive as new capacity addition and which could be implemented in acomparatively shorter time frame," he said.
To tackle these problems domestic coal production needs to beincreased to meet the demand of power sector, he added.
"Shortage of domestic gas also has to be addressed onpriority basis," he said.
"Power is one of the most important inputs for economic andsocial development of our country. The major challenge before us is to providecompetitive power to the consumers while improving the reliability and qualityof supply," he added.
Delays in acquiring land, obtaining necessary approvals as well asequipment bottlenecks are constraining the pace of capacity addition of 88,000MW by 2017, he added.
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