Zero coal imports by PSUs from next fiscal: Official

Kolkata, Nov 3 (IANS) In order to bring down coal imports at a faster rate, public sector units (PSUs) in the power sector will follow “zero imports” from the next fiscal onwards, a top official said on Thursday.

“In power sector, we engage with each of the public sector entities and by March 31, this year, there will be zero imports by all the public sector entities in power sector and there will be no imports thereafter,” said Coal Ministry Secretary Anil Swarup.

“The objective is to bring down imports as the country increases the domestic coal production. Imports are coming down but centre’s objective is to bring down imports at much faster rates,” he said.

“This year, we should be able to reduce imports by 15 million tonnes. We have done a detailed analysis of how to handle imports and the strategy related to both power and non-power sector,” he said at a seminar organised by MCC Chamber of Commerce and Industry here.

“To discourage coal imports by private sector, we are increasing the amount of coal which is available through e-auction. Since, e-auction prices have come down, the coal is available at a much cheaper rate,” Swarup said.

The Coal Secretary added that with the firming up of international prices, chances go up that coal prices would be picked up.

The government has set a target to produce 1.5 billion tonnes of coal domestically by 2020.

–IANS

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