India saves Rs 82k crore forex outgo on coal imports


NEW DELHI: The share of imported coal in overall consumption in the country has come down to 19.3% in Apr-Dec of the financial year ending March 31 from 21% in the previous corresponding period, translating into Rs 82,264 crore worth of forex savings, the coal ministry said.
The decline in the consumption of imported coal is a result of rising domestic production on the back of a concerted govt push garnished with a slew of reforms to clean up the system and incentives announced since 2014.The steady rise in coal production and improved availability has seen the CAGR (compounded annual growth rate) of imported coal consumption plummeting to about -2.7% between 2014 and 2024 from 13.7% between 2004 and 2014, govt data shows.
The transparent auction mechanism for coal blocks without end-use restrictions has started yielding favourable outcomes. The consistent upward trajectory of coal production from captive and commercial sources over the past five years reflect CAGR of around 22.5%.
In line with the govt’s push, cumulative coal production in 2023-24 has topped 803 million tonne (MT) as of February 6 over 717 MT recorded during the corresponding period of 2022-23, reflecting more than 12% growth during the current fiscal. Available data also shows production from captive and commercial mines expanding 26% to more than 125 MT in the April 2023-February 26 period. The International Energy Agency’s coal market report and forecast 2023 projected India’s coal demand rising 3.5% annually to 1,397 million tonnes (MT) in spite of an expected trebling of solar power capacity by 2026, compared to 2021, and a target of raising the share of green power to 50% by 2030.

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