For a country where lower coal production by its state-owned firm, Coal India Ltd (CIL) was often cited as a reason for less electricity generation by its power plants and hence growing power cuts, has a reason to rejoice in the present Modi led regime.
Higher coal production by the same state-owned CIL would help save the country save Rs 40,000 crore in foreign exchange on account of lower coal imports during the current financial year. India’s coal import bill was already lower by around Rs 28,000 crore in 2015-16 following persistent increase in coal supplies by CIL.
“Last year (fiscal), we saved Rs 28,000 crore in foreign exchange. This year, we are targetting Rs 40,000 crore,” Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal said after the launch of the web portal on ‘Contract Labour Payment Management System’.
An over joyous Goyal said, “There is not a single coal-based power plant in the country which has critical coal stock position….Today thermal power plants in India have an average coal stock of 26-27 days.”
Coal Secretary Anil Swarup said that Coal India’s output for this fiscal is fixed at 598 million tonnes. He tweeted that “the colour of coal is changing for the better and record coal production by CIL leads to reduction in import by 34.26 MT. Results in a saving of Rs 28,070 crore in foreign exchange during 2015-16.”
The colour of coal is changing for the better on account of sterling performance by Coal India. https://t.co/uOGzqV6jvy
— Anil Swarup (@swarup58) May 4, 2016
He had further tweeted, imports of the crucial natural resource came down by 27.4% to 15.54 MT in March, last fiscal, from 21.42 MT during March 2014-15. In 2015-16, Coal India had achieved a production of 536 MT.
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