New Delhi: India, the third largest coal producer in the world, imported 190 million tonnes of the fuel worth over Rs one lakh crore in 2016-17 fiscal, Parliament was informed today.
Minister of State for Coal Piyush Goyal in a written reply to Lok Sabha said 190.95 million tonnes (provisional) of coal valued at Rs 1,00,231.3 crore was imported in the last fiscal.
The minister further said in 2015-16, 203.9 million tonnes (MT) of coal valued at Rs 86,033.8 crore was imported, while in 2014-15, the import stood at 217.7 MT worth Rs 1,04,506.6 crore.
In 2013-14, the country imported 166.8 MT of coal worth Rs 92,329 crore, the minister said. The gap between demand and supply, Goyal said, cannot be
bridged completely as there is insufficient domestic availability of coal and power plants designed on imported fuel will continue to import for their production.
The demand of coal is higher than the current level of supply in the country. During 2016-17, as against the total demand of 838.6 MT (provisional), the domestic supply was 647.7 MT.
"Due to limited availability of low ash coal in the country, this type of coal is being imported. Further, superior quality of non-coking coal is imported mainly by
power plants that have been designed on imported coal," the minister said.
In a separate reply, the minister said production target of Coal India, which accounts for over 80 per cent of the domestic coal production, is 600 MT for the present fiscal....