Mining major Coal India Ltd has revised its production target to 650-660 million ton for the fiscal year 2020-21 in the wake of disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, a top company official said on Saturday.
The miner had earlier set a target of 710 million ton for the fiscal.
"COVID-19 pandemic has affected demand for coal. However, it has started to pick up now as the industries have commenced operations. Given the situation, we are hopeful to end the year with 650-660 million ton of production," Coal India Chairman Pramod Agrawal said.
In July-end, demand was higher by 7-8 percent, while in the first week of August, it saw an uptick of 13-14 percent, officials said.
The 'Maharatna' PSU had produced 602 million ton of coal last year as against a target of 630 million ton.
On commercial mining of coal, Agrawal said it will help introduce a market-linked price mechanism and benefit the state-owned mining behemoth, contrary to speculations.
"Market-linked prices will benefit Coal India," he said during a webinar organised by Bharat Chamber of Commerce.
The company is also trying to supply high-grade coal from select subsidiaries to coastal consumers largely dependent on imports.
The Kolkata-based miner is targeting 70-80 million ton of coal for import replacement in the southern and western parts, the officials said, adding, a special e-auction window is being mooted exclusively for importers.
Around 240 million ton of coal per annum is imported at present.
The mining major said it is looking at options for the loss-making Dankuni Coal Complex, which might wind up unless any worthwhile proposals come forward.
"In an effort to strengthen the administration and boost productivity, Coal India board has approved 14 executive director-rank posts," Agrawal added.