Coal and Mines Minister Pralhad Joshi today asserted that there is no shortage of coal in the country. Mr Joshi said due to increased demand of power, less power generation by imported coal based power plants and some interruption in supply of coal due to heavy rains, the coal stock at power plants depleted to 7.2 million tonnes (MT) as on October 5th this year. In a written reply to the Lok Sabha, the minister said, subsequently with increased coal supplies , the coal stock has started increasing and has now reached 16.74 MT, sufficient for nine days as on 25th of last month. Mr Joshi said, Coal India Limited has dispatched around 54 MT more coal during April-October this year in comparison to the same period of last year. The minister said many actions have been taken by the government to further enhance the production of coal in the country including Rolling auction and commercial auction of coal on revenue share mechanism. Mr Joshi said, the union government has already launched single window clearance portal on January this year for the coal sector to speed up the operationlisation of coal mines.
The minister said, Coal India Limited has envisaged a coal production programme of one Billion Tonne from CIL mines by 2023-24. He informed the House that as per the current import policy, coal is kept under Open General License and consumers are free to import coal from the source of their choice.
Mr Joshi said, Thermal power based on domestic coal may use imported coal up to ten per cent blending with domestic coal , where technically feasible to meet the increased power demand in the country.