Country’s coal imports fell by 15 per cent to 15.9 million tonnes (MT) in April this year.
The imports stood at 18.7 MT in the same month last year.
“Provisional coal import figures: Reduction from 18.7 MT in April 2015 to 15.9 MT in April 2016. In value terms, from Rs 8,942 crore to Rs 6,023 crore (32 per cent),” Coal Secretary Anil Swarup said in a tweet.
He further said reduction in imports during last fiscal led to a saving of an estimated Rs 24,000 crore in foreign exchange.
The government had earlier said in view of the rising production of the dry fuel, India plans to completely stop thermal coal imports in 2-3 years that would result in an annual saving of Rs 40,000 crore.
However, Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal is of the view that coking coal needs to be imported and his Ministry was ready to tie up with shipping companies for this purpose.
Coal India Ltd (CIL) produced 37.5 MT of the dry fuel in April as against the target of 37.6 MT.
In 2015-16, the Maharatna firm achieved a record production of 536 MT, which was 42 MT more than the previous fiscal. Its production grew 8.5 per cent year-on-year. CIL was, however, eyeing 550 MT output.
CIL’s output is fixed at 598 MT for this fiscal.