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The Punjab government is mulling to sell surplus coal generated from its captive mine in Jharkhand to private power producers, chief minister Bhagwant Mann said here on Tuesday.

Mann said such a move will help reduce the cost of electricity for people in Punjab, and added that his government is in touch with the Union coal ministry on the issue.

“Coal is coming from Pachwara mine in Jharkhand and it is coming in such quantity that we can give it to private players having thermal plants in Punjab. We are in talks with the Union coal ministry to allow the same to give coal at a cheaper rate so that their tariff will also come down,” Mann told reporters.

Mann, who is in the financial capital for a two-day roadshow ahead of a investors’ meet in February, claimed that the power tariffs for industries in Punjab are already the cheapest compared to other states at Rs 5 per unit. He listed the surplus and cheap power as a key factor which should attract industries in Punjab.

The chief minister said that industry players, especially in the manufacturing sector, who are looking to set up a base in north India should look at Punjab as a base.

Mann blamed the previous governments of his state for “frustrating” potential investors, due to which they went to places like Baddi in Himachal Pradesh, which is just 20 kilometres from Chandigarh.

The government is thinking of having ‘colour coding’ on stamps, under which they will play all the taxes, duties and mandatory fees upfront, resulting in quicker set up of industry, Mann said, adding that the government is committed to ease all the procedures for setting up industries.

He said Tata Steel is setting up its second biggest facility after Jamshedpur in Ludhiana, and construction of the same started on Tuesday itself.

During his visit, the chief minister met representatives of various corporate houses including Tata, Mahindra & Mahindra, Godrej and Hindustan Unilever, as well as players in the tractor, cycling and agriculture sectors.

He, however, did not reveal the quantum of investment commitments the state has managed to bag during his visit to the city. PTI AA HVA

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