The country faces no shortage of coal and its imports have declined to 208 million tonnes (MT) from 217 MT in 2014, Coal Minister Piyush Goyal said on Friday.
Replying to a query in the Question Hour, the Minister said coal production has witnessed an increase of 7.4 per cent in April-December (nine months) period of the ongoing fiscal.
There is no coal shortage in the country and Coal India production increased by 104 million tonnes (MT) in the last four years between 2014-15 and 2017-18, he said.
He, however, said that initially when power plants were being set up, they were designed for imports. Besides reserves of coking coal were limited in view of the fire in Jharia and Raniganj areas for several decades.
Apart from this, initial delays in environment clearances, land acquisition, etc, proved detrimental to coal production.
Coal India accounts for over 80 per cent of the total domestic production in the country.