Power Minister Piyush Goyal has said that India will be able to save Rs.40,000 crore annually because of the continuing rise in production of coal. This would happen in the next 2-3 years once India completely stops thermal coal production.
That would be one major booster to the economy given the fact that India incurs a huge import bill for coal to meet its burgeoning demand for power.
India’s power sector is largely dependent on coal – which is the source for more than 50 per cent of India’s installed capacity.
A very robust increase in coal production in the last two years of the NDA government has helped in the improvement of the power generation capacity and meet the demand. Power blackouts were a common feature during the UPA regime.
The massive power blackout of 2012 across north India was due to the then government’s failure in improving the coal production capacity, which led to a huge mismatch between demand of power and supply.
Things changed under the NDA government. Increasing coal production was made a top priority with Goyal himself taking charge of the same.
Coal India Limited (CIL), the world’s largest coal miner, helped India reduce its import bill of the dry fuel by more than Rs.28,000 crore in the last fiscal.
In October 2015, imports dropped by 27.16 per cent to 12.6 million tonnes (MT) from a year-ago period all because of a rise in production.
Sample this: In four years preceding the NDA government, CIL produced a total of 46 MT of coal. In 2014-15, after the NDA came to power, CIL produced 32 MT production. The only coal that would have to be imported is coking coal, which is used in steel production.