Lucknow: Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde on Saturday said the budget proposal to do away with customs duty on coal imports would give a leg-up to power production in the country.

"Doing away with the customs duty on coal used as fuel for thermal plants would help increase power production", Shinde, who was attending an Ambedkar University programme here, told reporters.

Shinde said that similarly if the customs duty on the import of machinery is reduced, it would help in setting up more power plants in the country.

Replying to another question, Shinde said, "There is a new government in Uttar Pradesh and I will come here in three months time to review the production and availability of power with officials and government".

The Power Minister stressed that making power available to people was the state government's prerogative and the Centre's role was of a facilitator.

"Power is in the concurrent list of the constitution and it is the responsibility of the state government to make power available to the people ... union government is in the role of a facilitator and all help would be made available to the state to increase production", Shinde said to a query.

He added that with the completion of the 11th Five Year Plan there would be an increase of about 52,000 MW in the country while in the 12th Plan there would be an additional production of 80,000 MW.

To a question, Shinde said that there was a requirement of about 125,000 MW more to plug the shortage of demand during the peak hours and efforts were on to achieve the same.

Claiming that strides have been taken in the past six years in the area of power production and distribution, Power Minister said that there are around six to seven units in the joint sector which are on Saturday making machinery and equipments for setting up power plants.

In comparison, there was only one company, BHEL, which was doing it earlier, he added.

(Agencies)