With ample production and abundant availability of domestic coal, the Union Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi has called on the Chief Ministers (CMs) of all States to not import coal from abroad and instead take supplies from the public sector Coal India Limited (CIL), Economic Times.
The push by Joshi for the usage of domestic coal comes as the nation is witnessing a drop in power demand amid the nationwide lockdown imposed to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. The low power consumption has reduced the demand for coal in the nation.
To boost the consumption of domestic coal, Joshi has already announced a series of measures for consumers of the CIL, including the power sector. Measures include relaxation in the quantity of coal for linkage consumers. This has now allowed the linkage consumers to purchase more quantities of coal than their contracted amount.
It should be noted that CIL alone accounts for about 80 per cent of the nation’s coal production. It had recorded an all-time high coal production of 84.36 million tonnes (MTs) in the bygone month of March, registering a rise of 6.5 per cent compared to the production achieved by it in March a year ago in 2019.
Meanwhile, in 2019-20, the nation’s coal imports had witnessed a rise of 3.2 per cent to 242.97 MTs.