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In the first quarter of the financial year 2017-18, 52.74 million tonnes of coal was imported into the country. This was 8.1% less than the 57.38 million tonnes of coal that were imported during April-June 2016-17. This data was provided by the Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence & Statistics.
This decline in coal imports has been a trend since last three years. India imported 217.78 million tonnes of coal in FY 2014-15 and it fell down to 203.95 million tonnes in FY 2015-16. This figure further fell down to 190.95 million tonnes in FY 2016-17. Shri Piyush Goyal, the Minister of state for power, coal & new and renewable energy and mines provided this data in a written reply to a question that was asked in the Lok Sabha.
The minister told, “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.” There has been an increase in the sellable stock of Coal India which has gone up from 53.62 million tonnes as on April 1, 2015, to 61.92 million tonnes on April 1, 2017. Coal India’s coal dispatch has also increased from 488.86 million tonnes in FY 2014-15 to 542.82 million tonnes in FY 2016-17. The stock for sale of Coal India was 49.90 million tonnes on June 1, 2017.
The minister also added, “However, the gap between demand and supply of coal cannot be bridged completely as there is the insufficient domestic availability of coking coal and power plants designed on imported coal will continue to import coal for their production.”