New Delhi: The government on Thursday said there is no proposal to increase coal prices at present even as Coal India has adopted a new system for pricing and excise duty on dispatches of fossil fuel has been raised.

"As of now the rise in prices of coal is not under consideration," Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal said when asked whether the government is considering hiking prices in the wake of new system.

Coal India (CIL), however, said that the burden on account of increase in duty will be passed on to the consumers, adding that it would be negligible. "The increase will be passed on to the consumers. It will be negligible," CIL Chairman and Managing Director N C Jha said.

The Coal Ministry had hiked stowing duty -- levied for rehabilitation, stowing and infrastructure development of abandoned mines -- from Rs 10 a tonne to Rs 20 a tonne.

The step follows a Cabinet decision last month to raise the cap on Stowing Excise Duty (SED) to Rs 50 a tonne from Rs 10 a tonne.

Although coal pricing has been deregulated since 2000, the government still plays a role in determining the price.

CIL, which accounts for 80 per cent of coal production in the country, switched over to new pricing mechanism from January 1.

Under the new pricing mechanism, the price of coal will be graded by CIL on gross calorific value, the international benchmark for expressing the heat content of coal, from the earlier practice of grading prices on the basis of useful heat value of the fuel.

A partial revision in prices of coal was last undertaken by CIL in February 2011. The PSU on an average raised the price of fossil fuel by about 15 per cent.

(Agencies)