New Delhi: The gap in demand and supply of coal has further widened to 161.5 million tonnes (MT) in the last fiscal.
The gap between projected demand and supply has increased to 161.5 MT in 2011-12, Minister of State for Coal Pratik Prakashbapu Patil said in a written reply to Rajya Sabha.
The import of the fossil fuel during the period also went up from 59 MT to 98.9 MT, the minister said.
"The increase in gap has increased because the growth in production has been less than growth in demand," Patil said.
In a reply to another question, the minister said that the projected demand of coal was 696 MT in 2011-12 while the supply was 534.5 MT.
He further said that in 2010-11 the shortfall of coal was to the tune of 132.8 MT while in 2009-10 it was 90.5 MT.
The government, he said, has taken various measures to scale up the production of fossil fuel, including expediting both environment and forestry clearances.
"The government has taken a series to steps to increase coal production including expeditious environment and forestry clearances, pursuing with ministry of railways for enhancing availability of rail rakes and approaching state government for necessary assistance in land acquisition and in problems relating to law and order."
In addition, a number of steps have been taken by Coal India and its subsidiaries for augmenting coal production which include increasing the efficiency of the equipments, regular monitoring ... Capacity addition from new and future projects... And law and order problems."
As per annual plan for 2012-13, against the demand of 512 MT, the supply of the fossil fuel has been estimated at 404.7 MT, leaving a gap of 107 MT, envisaged to be met through imports.
First Published: Monday, May 07, 2012, 18:41