India's coal imports to be at 185 MT by 2017
India's coal imports are likely to touch a whopping 185 million tonnes (MT) by 2017, almost 20 percent of the international dry-fuel trade amid widening demand-supply deficit, according to Planning Commission.
Projecting the imports to increase to 185 million tonnes by 2017 against 137 MT by the end of the 11th Five Year Plan (2007-12), a draft paper by the Plan Panel on Energy for the 12th Plan (2012-17) has cautioned that "there is an urgent need to take effective measures to step up coal production."
The issues are likely to come up for discussion during States' Energy Ministers meeting here tomorrow as amid the widening demand-supply deficit, the total demand by the power sector, including that from captive power plants, is expected to be 75 percent of the total coal demand by 2017.
"If domestic supply does not match the target growth rate of 7.5 percent per year, the import demand will be higher.The projected level of imports of around 185 MT is large keeping in mind that international trading in coal is only around 900-1,000 MT of the total consumption of over 6,000 MT world over," the draft document said.
It has also pointed out that the international availability of coal is going to be restricted due to concerns on climate change. "International prices of coal are also likely to remain high because of taxes which are being imposed by several coal producing countries, including Australia and Indonesia," it added.
The total demand of coal grew by about 8 percent during the Eleventh Plan against the domestic production growth of only 4.61 percent.The gap was filled by higher imports. State-run Coal India, which meets over 80 percent of the domestic requirement, is battling with problems including delays in regulatory clearances, law and order etc. to augment the production.
State-owned Coal India (CIL) said it has fixed a production target of 464 MT for 2012-13. The company had achieved 435.84 MT output in 2011-12 against a scaled-down target of 447 MT.
Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.
While asserting the fact that macro economic fundamentals remain strong, they have said that they will look at FDI in retail and that diesel deregulation will be looked at post Parliament.
Coal India has signed a pact with its trade unions to increase wages by 25 percent, a hike that will benefit over 3.7 lakh workers.