Enhanced production by Coal India Ltd. helps decline in coal imports
According to press release from PIB, as per the current import policy, coal is kept under Open General License (OGL) and consumers are free to import coal from the source of their choice as per their contractual prices on payment of applicable duty.
However, 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 2017-18. As per (DGCI&S), during April-October, 2017-18, 118.86 Mte. (Provisional) of coal was imported as compared to 121.14 Mte. in the corresponding period of 2016-17 showing a decline of 1.9%.
The fall in imports is largely on account of enhanced production by CIL. The vendible stock of CIL has increased from 53.47 Mt. as on 01.04.2015 to 68.42 Mt. as on 01.04.2017. 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 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.
As per Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence & Statistics (DGCI&S), a small quantity of coal was imported (including Coal, Coke and Briquittes etc.) from USA during October, 2017 viz. 1.07 MT (against 0.36 MT imported in January, 2015).
This information was given by the Union Minister of Railways and Coal Shri Piyush Goyal in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha.