Country’s coal imports have declined 5 per cent in the first two months of 2016-17 and the number is expected to reach 160.16 million tonnes in the ongoing fiscal, Parliament was informed today.
“The trend of fall in import of coal has continued in 2016-17 wherein for the period April-May 2016-17, coal imports have reduced by around 5 per cent as compared to the corresponding period of the previous year.
“Import of coal is projected for the year 2016-17 by Niti Aayog is 160.16 million tonnes,” Power and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal informed Rajya Sabha.
On account of increased production by Coal India Ltd (CIL), which produces around 80 per cent of coal in the country, the import of fossil fuel has fallen from 217.78 million tonnes in 2014-15 to 199.88 million tonnes in 2015-16.
CIL has undertaken a mix of strategies for narrowing the domestic demand-supply gap that address short to medium-term imperatives and also technological and human resource related issues, the minister said.
Coal India has envisaged to produce one billion tonne of coal in 2019-20 from the level of production of 538.75 million tonnes in 2015-16.
For evacuation of such huge coal to destination, CIL has planned for construction of three major railway infrastructure projects to be executed by Indian Railways in growing coalfields of Jharkhand, Odisha and Chhattisgarh. Positivity of such steps have already manifested themselves in decline in imports in 2015-16 (since 2014-15), Goyal said.
In a separate reply, the minister said that up to June, the supply of coal to the power plants was at 142 million tonnes.