Kolkata, Aug 13 (IANS) To meet the rising demand of coal, India will need to import at least 83 million tonnes by 2011-12, Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal said here Friday.
‘The demand projected in the mid-term appraisal of 11th Plan for 2011-12 is 713 million tonnes against which the projected production is only 629.91 million tonnes. The balance of 83 million tonnes will have to be met by imports,’ he told a seminar by Coal Consumers’ Association of India.
He said the coal production from captive blocks could contribute to about 42 million tonnes against an envisaged target of 81 million tonnes, which would further augment the need to import more coal during 2011-12.
The total coal production was anticipated to be around 570 million tonnes in 2010-11.
‘Total coal trade in the international market is about 800-900 million tonnes. If India has to import more than 100 million tonnes extending to about 250 million tonnes by the end of the 12th Plan, this will seriously affect international trade,’ he said.
Talking about the operationalisation of the coal blocks, he said of the 208 coal blocks allotted, only 26 are operating now.
‘During the formulation of the 11th Plan it was envisaged that about 104 million tonnes of coal would be available from coal blocks, mainly for power generation. With the progress noticed we do not envisage that the production will cross more than 40-42 million tonnes in the terminal year of the 11th Plan. This single factor can account for a shortage of about 60 million tonne,’ Jaiswal said.
He further added the various proposals which have not been cleared by the environment and forests ministry has resulted in a reduction of another 40 million tonnes in the terminal year of the 11th Plan.
‘The government has taken note of this and is intensively engaged in finding an appropriate solution,’ the minister said.