India plans to significantly reduce its thermal coal imports in “the next few years” to save foreign exchange and create jobs through the development of existing and new coal blocks, a senior official in the federal coal ministry said on Tuesday.
Coal is among the top five commodities imported by India, the world’s largest consumer, importer and producer of the fuel after China.
India spent 1.58 trillion rupees ($21.28 billion) on importing 247 million tonnes of coal, including 197 million tonnes of thermal grade, in the fiscal year to March 2020, M. Nagaraju, a joint secretary in the coal ministry, told a seminar.
“As per our assessment, we can actually substitute between 110-120 million tonnes of coal. We will not be able to do this year, but certainly we will do in the next few years,” Nagaraju said, without giving more detail on the timeframe.
He said increasing local coal production would help to improve the economies of states in central India, where most coal mines are located..Full Story