The government admits gap between demand and supply of coal cannot be bridged completely due to insufficient domestic availability of coking coal
GN Bureau | February 9, 2018
Coal imports have fallen from 217.78 Mte in 2014-15 to 203.95 Mte in 2015-16 and further to 190.95 Mte in 2016-17. The trend of fall in import of coal has continued in the current fiscal.
As per the directorate general of commercial intelligence and statistics (DGCI&S), during April-October 2017-18, 118.86 Mte of coal was imported compared to 121.14 Mte in the corresponding period of the previous fiscal, showing a decline of 1.9 percent.
The government has said that the fall in coal imports is largely because of the enhanced production by Coal India Ltd. The vendible stock of CIL has increased from 53.47 Mt in 2015 to 68.42 Mt in 2017. The off-take /dispatch of coal of CIL has also increased from 488.86 Mt in 2014-15 to 543.16 Mt in 2016-17.
However, the government has admitted that the gap between demand and supply of coal cannot be bridged completely due to insufficient domestic availability of coking coal and power plants designed on imported coal will continue to import coal for their production.
The DGCI&S records show, a small quantity i.e. 1.07 MT of coal was imported (including coal, coke and briquettes) from USA in October, 2017 against 0.36 MT imported in January, 2015.
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