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Coal shortage: The Centre on Tuesday allowed power producers to expedite imports of coal to use for up to 10% of blends with the domestic grade to meet increased power demand, according to Reuters. 

This comes in the backdrop of some parts of states facing power outage as several power plants are running low on coal due to many factors such as low production and high import price. 

Supply from Coal India Ltd is not commensurate with the surge in electricity consumption, leading to a change in government policy on coal imports, said the note cited by Reuters. 

India's power demand has been rising with the rapid revival of the economy after the lifting of restrictions imposed due to the second wave of Covid.

Earlier in the day, the Ministry of Power said that it had been brought to its notice that some states were not supplying power to their consumers and imposing load shedding. At the same time, they are also selling power in the power exchange at high price, it said. 

The ministry said as per the guidelines for allocation of power, 15% power from the Central Generating Stations (CGS) are kept under “unallocated power" which is allocated by the Central Government to the needy States to meet the requirement of power of the consumers.

“The responsibility to supply power to the consumers is of the distribution companies and they should first serve their consumers who have the right to receive 24x7 power. Thus, the distribution companies should not sell the power in the power exchange and starve their own consumers," the ministry said.

It requested the states to use the unallocated power for supplying electricity to the consumers of the state. In case of surplus power, the states have been requested to intimate to the central government so that this power can be reallocated to other needy state, it added.

“In case any state is found that they are not serving their consumers and selling power in the power exchanges at higher rate, the unallocated power of such states shall be withdrawn and allocated to other needy states," the ministry warned.

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