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According to Minister of Coal and Parliamentary Affairs, Mr. Prahlad Joshi, the production of raw coal in the country has increased from 567.77 million tons (MT) in 2013-14 to 730.35 MT in 2018-19. Last year, India had to import 234 MT coal for which it lost Rs 1.7 lakh crore (US$ 24.32 billion) foreign exchange.

“All India raw coal production increased from 565.77 MT in 2013-14 to 730.35 MT in 2018-19, an absolute increase of 164.58 MT as compared to increase of coal production of 73.01 MT between 2008-09 and 2013-14,” he said.

He added that the production witnessed a positive growth in the first quarter of the current year (April- June 2019) but there has been decrease in production since July. One of the main reasons is heavy rainfall witnessed in coal mining areas of the country, he said.

Mr. Joshi said that the growth of production in October was hindered as rainfall continued in the month this year that normally witness growth after the rainy session. He added that during the current year (April-October 2019), though there has been a decrease in dispatch to power sector, it has not affected the coal availability position at the powerhouse end.

Currently, stock at Powerhouse end stands at 22.78 MT as on November 19, 2019, that is equal to 14 days’ consumption with 5 power plants under critical list, as against last year same day’s stock of 11.68 Million tonnes, equivalent to 7 days’ consumption, with 25 power plants reeling under criticality.

“The coal production of CIL and its subsidiaries is being reviewed regularly at the highest level of Ministry. The CIL has been asked to make all out efforts to reach the target by improving production in the remaining months of the current year,” he said.

Mr. Joshi said the focus of the government is on increasing the domestic production of coal by allocating more coal blocks, pursuing with state government for assistance in land acquisition and coordinated efforts with Railways for movement of coal.