India will see savings of Rs 30,000 crore in the current fiscal year due to a fall in coal imports as the domestic output has increased, according to a top government official.
The government is planning to stop importing the kind of coal that is present in the country, coal secretary Anil Swarup told The Economic Times.
"Imports have already started coming down. This year, imports are already down by 16% resulting in savings of Rs 22,000 crore so far. We would probably save Rs 30,000 crore by the end of this year," Swarup told the daily on the sidelines of the Edelweisss India Conference.
State-owned Coal India, world's largest coal miner, is aiming to raise its production to 1 billion tonne by 2020. For the current fiscal year ending March 2016, the miner plans to increase output to 550 million tonne.
Even though the price of coal in India is nearly 40 percent lower than the imported one, Coal India's production is unable to meet the increasing demand, leading the country to import coal.
"We will eliminate import of such quality of coal which is available in India in two years," he said.
However, nearly 30-40 million tonne of the total 212 million tonne of coal imported last fiscal year was not available domestically. The power plants located in the coastal areas use high-grade coal, necessitating the country to import that variety of coal.
"We have so far focused on increasing quantity and its showing results. Now, the focus is on improving quality of coal. We want to ensure only crushed coal moves out of mines and from January 1st, it has already started happening. This ensures that power plants don't receive coal with high amount of stones as they did in the past," Swarup said.
[1 lakh = 100,000 | 1 crore = 10 million | 100 crore = 1 billion]