Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal has announced that on account of lower coal imports this fiscal, the government is likely to save Rs 40,000 crore in foreign exchange.
As a result of record coal production by the world’s largest coal miner Coal India, the country reduced its import bill of the dry fuel by around Rs 28,000 crore last fiscal.
He was speaking at the launch of the web portal on ‘Contract Labour Payment Management System’. The portal has been developed for monitoring compliance of labour payment and other benefits for contract workers.
“We would endeavour to… reduce the import of thermal coal and increase the production of domestic coal,” he said.
Goyal had earlier told the Lok Sabha that “enhanced availability of domestic coal has offset shortage of gas and has resulted in growth in overall thermal generation from coal and gas based power plants to 7.4 percent during the year 2015-16 as well as reduction of 10.6 MT import of coal by power sector”.
“During 2015-16, the energy shortage was 2.1 percent, which is the lowest ever in a single year,” he said.
According to Coal Secretary Anil Swarup, Coal India’s output for this fiscal is fixed at 598 million tonnes (MT). The enterprise has also decided to set up 15 washeries, which are expected to be completed by October 1, 2017. He said this will ensure that all coal that ash content of more that 34 per cent is washed.