India’s coal imports down 4.56% in April-October
India’s coal imports fell by 4.56% during the first seven months of current fiscal, first time in over five years, mainly due to a significant growth in domestic production, a government data said on Wednesday. Overall coal imports during April-October 2015-16 was 108.36 million tonnes worth Rs.496.76 billion as against 114 million tonnes worth Rs. 579.63 billion during the corresponding period of 2014-15. Total production of raw coal during April-September 2015-16 stood at 275.29 million tonnes, up 4.1% from 264.54 million tonnes during the same period last year. “The increase in coal off-take of 30.44 million tonnes during April-November 2015 is two-and-a-half times more than that of 12.09 million tonnes achieved during same period last year,” Ministry of Coal said in a statement. Production by government-run Coal India Ltd. (CIL) for the period April-November 2015 grew by 8.8% to 321.38 million tonnes from last year’s 295.40 million tonnes. During the current financial year so far, the government has auctioned 31 coal mines and allotted 42 others to state entities. It has transferred over Rs.1395.69 crore to coal bearing states. Following a blanket ban on the auction of coal blocks, the government introduced a new Auction by Competitive Bidding Rules 2012 to resume auction. Under the new rule, the government has allotted 10 regionally explored coal blocks to central/state-owned companies. In addition, it has also allotted four regionally explored lignite blocks to government-owned companies in Gujarat. “The auction of coal mines has been universally hailed to be a success, which has not only ensured that there is no disruption in the economy in the wake of the order of the Supreme Court, but have also set new benchmark for efficiency and transparency. Potential revenue generation of over Rs.3.44 lakh crore estimated during life time of mines to the coal producing states,” the ministry said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in the last one year, has given a special emphasis on expanding mining industry, which is aimed at being self-sufficient in coal production, thereby ceasing thermal coal imports by 2017.
December 16, 2015 | 05:50pm IST