Government asks States not to import thermal coal

PTI New Delhi | Updated on March 16, 2020 Published on March 16, 2020

While asking States to stop thermal coal imports, the Centre said that a lobby was behind dry-fuel imports despite sufficient domestic stock.

Replying to a query in the Upper House during Question Hour, Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi said India has the fourth largest resource in the world but yet thermal coal is being imported. It should be stopped, he said.

“There is no hesitation in saying that in many States some import lobby is also working. Though in the last three-four months we have enough stock some of the Gencos are importing,” Joshi said.

“I have written to all chief ministers including of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Telangana, Jharkhand and Tamil Nadu requesting them to direct all Gencos to maximise the coal lifting and stop coal imports,” he said.

He said he has also asked Power Minister RK Singh to ask NTPC to totally stop the imports. All thermal power plants have a stock of 23 days which is the highest ever in recent history, he added.

States have to utilise domestic coal on a priority basis as the present stock has a maximum life of 30 years.

The minister said though coal production this year remained impacted due to “incessant and unprecedented” rains, the production increased post December.

India imported 235.24 million tonnes of coal in 2018-19 whereas imports for the current fiscal up to December stood at 186.64 mt, the minister said.

Published on March 16, 2020
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