Coal India Chairman Pramod Agrawal on Monday said there is a “strong case” for increasing coal prices, and the hike could be effected “very soon” as discussions are underway with stakeholders. Agrawal also said he is confident the mining behemoth will achieve its production target of 1 billion tonnes by 2025-26.
“There is a strong case for increasing coal prices, as that has not happened in the last five-odd years. This year, the wage negotiation has taken place as well, which will have an impact on CIL’s financial condition, especially for a few subsidiaries where the manpower cost is very high. “There will be a lot of problems if prices are not hiked. Discussions are underway with stakeholders… It will happen very soon,” Agrawal said at the Indian Coal Markets Conference here organized by Mjunction.
Elaborating on the 1 billion tonne production target, he said though CIL is on course to achieve this by 2025-26, it will depend on factors like the need of the country and the growth of the private sector. “What is important is the readiness to produce. No country can develop unless its energy resources are secured – so we should be in readiness to produce if requirement is there, if not, the output can be adjusted accordingly,” Agrawal said.
The CIL chief added that the company is aiming to raise underground coal production to 100 million tonnes by 2030 from around 25-30 million tonnes at present.