Declining imports due to Coal India’s rising output has helped save India 17,000 crore rupees, newspapers quoted a top government official as saying.
Coal India is set for a record production of 550 million tonnes (MT) in the current financial year after the government set a target for the world’s largest producer of dry fuel of 1 billion tonnes by 2020.
Imports of coal, which fell to about 132 MT in the April-December period from 155 MT in the same period last year, are expected to fall further as domestic production increases, Coal Secretary Anil Swarup was quoted as saying.
Higher production has not only resulted in a rise in energy production, but also made available coal stock for 24 days with power plants, from the earlier 3-7 days, he said.
State-owned Coal India accounts for more than 80 percent of coal production in India where the government is now actively considering allowing private firms to also explore for coal after four decades.