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The union government has directed state-run Power Finance Corporation (PFC) and Rural Electrification Corporation (REC Ltd) to take necessary action to arrange short term loans for a period of six months with adequate safeguards, for imported coal-based plants (ICB) plants which are under stress or in NCLT, at the earliest.

These plants need working capital to buy coal and start generating power in order to restart their operations.

Union Minister for Power and New and Renewable Energy held a meeting on 9 May on issues related to working capital to imported coal-based plants which are stressed or are in NCLT.

In view of increased demand and unprecedented pressure on domestic coal supplies, Ministry of Power, has earlier issued directions to all imported coal-based plants to operate and generate power to their full capacity, even for projects which are stressed or under NCLT.

"These directions will ensure that additional electricity is produced through imported coal and will be a net addition," the government said in a statement.

India last week invoked an emergency law in a bid to start generation at some idle power plants running on imported coal which are not producing power because of financial stress or due to high international prices of coal.

A heatwave-driven power crisis, the worst in over six years, has forced the world's third-biggest greenhouse gas emitter to use more coal after months of low consumption.

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