Union Coal Minister Piyush Goyal on Monday said that there is no need to import coal in India. Goyal said that the country already has required quantity of coal to meet the demand. “We don’t wish to import coal from anywhere in the world. We have sufficient coal capacity in our country,” Piyush Goyal was quoted as saying by ANI. “Government is in process of drawing up an energy policy that will help our country ensure right energy-mix at all times,” Goyal added. Earlier too, Goyal had expressed concerns over the import of coal despite being the surplus in the dry fuel. The Union Minister, while addressing a media event, had said that the situation is arising because the power plants have been designed not to function on indigenous coal. Earlier in April, the government had said 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, Press Trust of India reported. As per the report, the government also plans to convince the private companies operating in the power space to totally stop the import of thermal fossil fuel. “This year we want that coal import by these plants (of public sector companies) should be brought down to zero and slowly we would convince the private sector that there is no need for you to import coal,” Coal Secretary Susheel Kumar told PTI.
Kumar added that the government will also try to attract private companies in the power sector to source coal through domestic sources as it is more reliable and prone to fewer price variations. “The move is likely to substantially bring down the country’s import bill. India will save around Rs 17,000 crore on import bill,” the Secretary said.
As per Kumar, the Coal Ministry will make available to the power public sector units (PSUs) the supply of thermal coal from domestic sources in sufficient amount which would prompt the companies to not resort to importing of fossil fuel. “We will supply so much of coal to them that there would be no need for them to import coal,” the Secretary said.