ALSO READCoal India's April coal despatch grows 6% to 45 mn tonnes 'Lower tax on coal under GST to help CIL clear stockpile' Coal ministry to kick off auctions in August for IPPs without PPAs MCL records highest net profit among all CIL subsidiaries Coking coal valuation tricky for Coal India's foreign ambition
Import of coal saw a decline of 6.37 per cent to 191.95 million tonnes (MT) in 2016-17 on higher production by CIL that saw the country move to a regime of surplus coal. Comparatively, in 2015-16 fiscal, coal imports stood at 203.95 MT, as per official data by the government. "On enhanced production by Coal India (CIL), the country has moved from a regime of coal scarcity to a coal surplus situation," the document said. As against the demand of 884.87 MT of coal, the total domestic production stood at 659.27 MT, it said. The Centre has announced plans to boost CIL's annual production to the level of 1 billion tonnes by 2019 to meet the growing fuel demand. Under the provisions of the Coal Mines (Special Provisional) Act, 2015, 30 mines have been allocated to private sector companies by way of auction for specified end uses till date. The ongoing fiscal also shows a declining trend, especially of thermal coal. Thermal and steam coal imports have fallen 17.37 per cent at the top 12 major ports to 29.82 MT during April-July this fiscal, according to the Indian Ports Association (IPA). The ports, under the control of the Centre, had handled 36.09 MT of thermal and steam coal during the same period of the previous fiscal. Thermal coal is the mainstay of India's energy programme as 70 per cent of power generation is dependent on the dry fuel. Handling of coking coal, used mainly in steel-making, has also dipped 4.45 per cent to 16.51 MT, as per the latest data released by the IPA. These ports had handled 17.27 MT of coking coal in April-July period of 2016-17. Together, they handled 46.33 MT coal during April-July this fiscal as against 53.36 MT in the same period of the previous year. India is the third-largest producer of coal after China and the US and has 299 billion tonnes of resources and 123 billion tonnes of proven reserves, which may last for over 100 years. The country has 12 major ports - Kandla, Mumbai, JNPT, Marmugao, New Mangalore, Cochin, Chennai, Ennore, VO Chidambarnar, Visakhapatnam, Paradip and Kolkata (including Haldia) - which handle approximately 65 per cent of the country's total cargo traffic.