Discounting any immediate plans to stop coal imports, Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal said on Wednesday that the government will open more than 60 coal mines across the country in the coming days.
"I am delighted to announce that 60 new mines are to open in the coming days. A detailed mine-by-mine study has been made out and put on the (ministry) website so that even you all can monitor the progress of new mines," Goyal told media persons here, highlighting the achievements of Narendra Modi government in its first year in office.
He said the new mines were part of the overall plan for state miner Coal India to double its current production of 50 crore tonnes per annum in five years to reach the country's total production target of 150 crore tonnes by 2020.
Coal India achieved a record 32 million tonnes increase in production of the fuel in the last year, he added.
"The increased coal production led to a 12 percent increase in power production last year," the minister said.
Announcing that micro grid and off-grid solutions are being worked out to provide power to 28 crore people in rural India who are still without electricty, Goyal said in reply to a question that 1,500 villages were electrified in the one year the NDA government has been in power.
Declaring that coal imports would continue for the time being, Goyal said: "We will be self-reliant in coal production in the years to come."