NEW DELHI: Coal imports have fallen from 217.78 Million metric tonne (MMT) in 2014-15 to 203.95 MMT 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. This was stated by the Minister of State for Power, Coal & New and Renewable Energy and Mines during a reply to a question in the Lok Sabha.
The fall in imports is largely on account of enhanced production by Coal India Limited (CIL), due to which the country has moved from a regime of coal scarcity to a coal surplus situation.
The Minister further stated that as per Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence & Statistics (DGCI&S), during April-June 2017-18, 52.74 MMT (Provisional) of coal was imported as compared to 57.38 MMT in the corresponding period of 2016-17 showing a decline of 8.1%.
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 added.