Coal Minister Piyush Goyal has said that the recent decision of the Union Power Ministry to allow states to import coal is temporary in nature.
“We are constantly trying to ramp up production. Allowing states to import coal is temporary in nature,” Goyal told PTI when asked about the Union Power Ministry asking states to import coal in the wake of coal shortage.
Union Power Minister R K Singh has recently red flagged coal shortage for power plants for the next 2-3 years and allowed states to import the fuel.
Goyal said there had been constant growth in coal production and dispatches by the Coal India and explained that at times imports might be needed as a stop-gap arrangement for states to meet sudden rise in demand.
Goyal said coal production had registered a 15.2 per cent growth during the first quarter ended June 2018 to 136.87 million tonnes and supply to power plants also jumped by 15.4 per cent to 122.84 million tonnes during the quarter.
This resulted in lower coal imports by the power industry by nearly 15 per cent during April-May this year.
The Coal India is trying to rationalise coal supplies to power companies based on demand and stock lying with them in order to optimise power generation in the country, a company official said.
The company is also planning to limit supplies with low PLF and high stock with utilities generating more with low stock, he said.