India’s coal imports in first quarter fall 8.1 per cent on higher output
31 July 2017
India’s ability to reduce its coal stockpile is tied to improvements in its power distribution network, as over a fifth of its citizens still lack access to electricity.
During April-June 2017-18, 52.74 million tonnes of coal was imported against 57.38 million tonnes in the corresponding previous period registering a 8.1% fall, according to the Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence & Statistics.
In fact, coal imports have been declining over the last three years. During 2014-15 India imported 217.78 million tonnes of coal which declined to 203.95 million tonnes in 2015-16 and further to 190.95 million tonnes in 2016-17.
This was stated by Shri Piyush Goyal, minister of state for power, coal & new and renewable energy and mines in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha on Thursday.
“The fall in imports is largely on account of enhanced production by Coal India, due to which the country has moved from a regime of coal scarcity to a coal surplus situation,” the minister said.
Vendible stock of Coal India has increased form 53.62 million tonnes as on April 1, 2015 to 61.92 million tonnes on April 1, 2017.
Off-take or dispatch of coal of Coal India has also increased from 488.86 million tonnes in 2014-15 to 542.82 million tonnes in 2016-17.
Vendible stock of Coal India on June 1, 2017 was 49.90 million tonnes.
“However, the gap between demand and supply of coal cannot be bridged completely as there is insufficient domestic availability of coking coal and power plants designed on imported coal will continue to import coal for their production,” the Minister said.