India records sharp decline in share of imported coal in last 10 years as local production rises

New Delhi (IANS) India has registered a sharp decline in the share of imported coal over the last 10 years with the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of coal imports coming down from 21.48 per cent recorded between 2004-05 and 2013-14 to a mere 2.49 per cent for the period between 2014-15 to fiscal year 2023-24, the Coal Ministry said on Friday.

India, endowed with the fifth-largest coal reserves globally, stands as the second-largest consumer of coal, propelled by a fast-growing economy.

The unavailability of coking coal and high-grade thermal coal within India’s reserves necessitates imports to meet the requirements of industries like steel.

However, medium and low-grade thermal coal are abundantly available domestically, making it imperative for the country to produce sufficient coal to meet domestic demand.

“Over the past decade, concerted efforts to bolster coal production have yielded a positive trend. Notably, from fiscal year 2004-05 to fiscal year 2013-14, the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of coal production stood at 4.44 per cent only. While, from fiscal year 2014-15 to fiscal year 2023-24, this figure rose to around 5.63 per cent,” the Coal Ministry said.

Moreover, CAGR of imported coal share stood at 13.94 per cent during the period from fiscal year 2004-05 to 2013-14 while the same figure plummeted to around -2.29 per cent, it added.

This strategic focus on optimising indigenous coal resources and leveraging innovative technological solutions forms part of the goal fixed by the government towards self-reliance or Atmanirbharta in energy security of the nation, the Coal Ministry statement said.

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