India to stop import of thermal coal from Financial Year 2023-24: Pralhad Joshi

India will stop importing thermal coal from Financial Year 2023-24, said Union Minister of Coal and Mines Shri Pralhad Joshi while chairing “Chintan Shivir” – a two day brainstorming session. The session was organized to find a way forward for the coal sector – at Kevadia in Gujarat on 17th and 18th February 2020.

“The Shivir has engaged the participants in contemplating and deliberating to think out of the box to overcome various bottlenecks and provide innovative solutions to the Indian coal sector” Shri Pralhad Joshi said while interacting with the media on the sidelines of the Shivir.

Highlighting key takeaways of the Shivir, Union Coal and Mines Minister said that various ways and means were discussed with key stakeholders to achieve 1 billion tonnes (BT) coal production target by Coal India Limited (CIL) by Financial Year 2023-24. The Ministry of Coal will coordinate with Indian Railways and Shipping Ministry and enable CIL, Captive and Commercial Miners evacuate more coal by 2030.

Stressing upon the diversification in the Indian Coal sector, the Minister said that ideas have also been mooted that CIL could think of coming up with the state of the art pithead thermal power plants to transform it into an integrated energy company. It was also proposed that CIL could generate 5 GW of solar power by FY 2023-24 and could diversify into coal gasification with a target of 50 Million Tonnes by 2030 enabling a sustainable energy mix for the country.  

The Minister further announced that the Ministry of Coal will introduce a “Coal Minister’s Award” soon to recognize and appreciate best practices in coal production, productivity, safety, sustainability etc. by the coal companies. 

The Minister stated that drilling agencies like Central Mine Planning and Design Institute (CMPDI) and Geological Survey of India (GSI) should benchmark their operations to global standards by digitizing their databases. He added that it will enable better utilization in years to come. During the two day Shivir, strategies were evolved for sustainable mining, environmental conservation, use of clean coal technologies and for extending helping hand to all stakeholders in and around coal mining areas to coexist in a mutually sustainable manner. 

Shekhar Ghosh is consulting editor, Indoasiancommodities.com. He has edited and written for publications like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today, Outlook and many other international publications. He can be reached at shekhar.ghosh@indoasiancommodities.in.

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