State-owned Coal India will continue to offer domestic coal to non-power sectors in lieu of 50 per cent of the import component in the ongoing fiscal. The development assumes significance as the government is working to eliminate coal imports. The world’s largest coal miner “offer of domestic coal ‘as is where is basis’ to non-power FSA (fuel supply agreement) consumers in lieu of 50 per cent of the import component will be continued in 2017-18”, the official said. However, the fuel will be provided to non-power consumers such as cement firms, fertiliser and steel producers without affecting the supply to the power sector. The coal would be provided from sources like Magadh Amarpali mines of CIL arm Central Coalfields Ltd (CCL) and Eastern Coalfields Ltd and South Eastern Coalfields Ltd (SECL), the official said. The government had earlier said that it is aiming to bring down to “zero” thermal coal imports of power PSUs like NTPC in the current fiscal, a move that would reduce the country’s import bill by around Rs 17,000 crore. The government would also slowly convince the private companies operating in the power space to totally stop the import of thermal fossil fuel.
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Yesterday, the government had said that despite being rich in coal reserves, the country has to import the fossil fuel for power plants with an installed capacity of 83,100 mw which are designed to feed on imported coal.