India to face huge coal shortage by 2021-22: Govt

PTI New Delhi | Updated on March 09, 2011

The Minister for Coal, Mr Sriprakash Jaiswal (file photo) -- Kamal Narang.   -  Business Line

The Government today admitted that the country will face a huge shortfall of 269 million tonnes of coal by 2021-22 as the coal producing entities have failed to keep pace with the demand as well as economic growth.

“In the last 8-10 years, the economy grew at a much faster pace compared to coal production even as the Coal India Ltd registered a growth of 7-8 per cent. We are trying to adopt different technologies which are more efficient in coal usage to meet the demand,” the Coal Minister, Mr Sriprakash Jaiswal, said in the Lok Sabha during Question Hour.

According to estimates, demand for coal in 2021-22 is projected at 1,353 mt against the production assessment at 1,084 mt, leaving a shortfall of 269 mt.

“In view of the widening demand-supply gap of coal, the country is unlikely to become self-reliant in meeting the demand of coal indigenously in the near future,” Mr Jaiswal said.

He also informed the House that several states were allocated coal blocks more than five years ago but

they are yet to begin production.

Chhattisgarh was allocated nine coal blocks more than five years ago, Maharashtra was given seven blocks and Madhya Pradesh 10 blocks, he said adding that unfortunately production has not begun at any of these blocks.

Replying to a supplementary on whether irregularities in allocation of coal blocks have come to the notice of the Government, Mr Jaiswal replied in negative. He also said that now coal blocks are allotted only through competitive bidding and there was no possibility of any wrongdoing.

In view of India producing only 10 per cent of good quality coal, it has been placed under Open General Licence scheme so that industries such as sponge iron, steel and power producers could import good coal according to their demand.

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Published on March 09, 2011
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