Raw coal production in the country has increased from 567.77 million tons (MT) in 2013-14 to 730.35 MT in 2018-19, Union Coal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said in Lok Sabha. He also said that India had to import 234 MT coal last year for which it lost Rs 1.7 lakh crore 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 during Question Hour.
The minister said while there was a positive growth in production in the first quarter of the current year (April- June 19), production has been slipping since July.
This is largely because of heavy rainfall witnessed in coal mining areas of the country, he said.
Joshi said this year rainfall has continued in the month of October also which hampered the growth in production during this month that normally taken place after the rainy session.
He said during the current year (April-October 2019), though there has been a decline in dispatch to power sector, it has not affected the coal availability position at the power house end.
Presently, stock at Power House end stands at 22.78 MT as on November 19, 2019, equivalent 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.
Joshi said the focus of the government is on accelerating domestic production of coal through allocation of more coal blocks, pursuing with state government for assistance in land acquisition and coordinated efforts with Railways for movement of coal.