Coal imports down 15% in Apr-Dec on higher CIL output

Country's coal imports fell by 15% to 132.3 million tonnes in the first 9 months of the current fiscal, from 155.4 MT a year ago, because of record production by state-owned CIL, a top official said today.

In value terms, the decline was worth around Rs 18,000 crore.

"Record coal production by Coal India leads to further reduction in imports. Coal imports down by 15% during April-Dec '15 compared to 2014," Coal Secretary Anil Swarup said in a tweet.

"Coal imports at 132.3 MT during April-Dec'15 as compared to 155.4 MT during April-Dec '14 at Rs 60,250 Cr against Rs 78,006 Cr in value," the Secretary said.

He added that in value terms coal imports come down by Rs 17,765 crore during April-December, 2015-16, as compared to the corresponding period of the previous fiscal.

"Import of coal during Dec 15 at 12.35 MT against 18.81 MT last year. In value, Rs 5,643 Cr in Dec'15 as compared to Rs 9,184 in Dec'14," he said.

Swarup had earlier said that coal imports will continue to decline this fiscal due to "unprecedented increase" in output of the fossil fuel by state-owned Coal India Ltd.

The state-owned firm, which accounts for over 80% of the domestic coal production, is eying one billion tonnes production by 2020.

Power and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal had earlier said that coal shortages will be a thing of the past and India will not need to import dry fuel by 2017, except to meet requirements of power plants located near coastal areas.

India had imported 212.103 million tonnes of coal worth over Rs 1 lakh crore last fiscal.

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