New Delhi: Increased output by Coal India has resulted in savings of about Rs 17,000 crore and the state-run miner is set for a record production of 550 million tonnes (MT) this fiscal, a top official said.
Coal India is the single largest producer of dry fuel in the world and the government has set a target of doubling its production to 1 billion tonnes by 2020.
"Increased production of coal has resulted in decline in imports and a resultant saving of about Rs 17,000 crore in only first nine months of the fiscal," Coal Secretary Anil Swarup told PTI.
Swarup said coal imports, which fell down to about 132 MT in April-December period of the current fiscal from about 155 MT in the same period a year ago, are likely to fall further on the back of increased output.
"Coal India is likely to hit a record production in the range of 540 MT to 550 MT in the current fiscal," Swarup said.
He said the coal behemoth, which could hardly manage an increase of 31 MT of coal between 2010 and 2014, recorded an increase of about 32 MT in the last fiscal and has an "incredible" growth rate of 9.8 percent.
He said increased production has not only resulted in enhanced energy production but also made available coal stock for 24 days with power plants, from the earlier three to seven days.
He said apart from increased production, increased offtake could also be possible with availability of higher number of rakes, which went to 204 per day in the current fiscal as against 182 in the last fiscal.
The state-owned firm accounts for over 80 percent of the domestic coal production.
Power and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal had earlier said that coal shortages will be a thing of the past and India will not need to import dry fuel by 2017, except to meet requirements of power plants located near coastal areas.
India had imported 212.103 MT of coal worth over Rs 1 lakh crore last fiscal.