India expects to stop coal imports in the next two-three years – minister

India, which is digging more of its own coal than ever, expects to stop importing coal in the next 2-3 years, Power Minister Piyush Goyal has said, a shift that would save foreign exchange to the tune of 40,000 crore rupees a year.

The government saved Rs.28,000 crore as an 8.5 percent increase in domestic coal supply in the fiscal 2015-16 helped cut imports by 34.26 million tonnes.

“We want to completely stop the import of thermal coal in the next two to three years,” Goyal told a maritime conference in Mumbai last week.

He said the power ministry was ready to tie up with the shipping ministry for long-term contracts to Indian shipping companies for coal transportation.

The use of inland waterways and coastal shipping to transfer coal from Odisha and West Bengal to other states can also help to reduce power prices, he said.

 

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