New Delhi, Oct 10 (PTI) The Congress on Sunday blamed the government for the coal shortage in the country and expressed fear that power rates may be increased now after the hike in petrol prices.

Former Union Minister Jairam Ramesh demanded an investigation into the coal shortage.

Several states have warned of a power outage in the wake of a severe coal shortage, but the coal ministry has asserted that sufficient dry fuel is available in the country to meet the demand of electricity generating plants and has dismissed as "entirely misplaced" any fear of disruption in power supply.

"Suddenly we are hearing of a crisis in coal supply to power plants. Is one particular private company making a fortune out of this crisis? But who will investigate," Ramesh said on Twitter.

Targeting the prime minister, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala alleged it is a "Modi made power crisis" for the benefit of his "friends".

"Dear countrymen, be ready. After petrol, the prices of electricity will prove costly to your pockets. There is an acute shortage of coal availability and the electricity act has also been amended.

"After the amendment, 'Saheb and his friends' can now charge their own rates for each unit of power and sell it at higher rates," Surjewala said in a tweet in Hindi.