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Joshi Aims to Eradicate Coal Imports by Fiscal Year 2026

Union Minister Prahlad Joshi aims to eliminate coal imports by 2025-26, with plans to reduce the share to 2 per cent in the upcoming fiscal year, emphasising increased coal production and private sector involvement

Union Minister for Coal and Mines, Prahlad Joshi, stated on Wednesday that the country’s energy security necessitates the continued use of coal for the next 30-40 years. Joshi outlined the government’s objective to reduce coal imports, aiming for a 2 per cent share in the next fiscal year and eventual elimination by the financial year 2025-26. Highlighting progress, he noted a decrease in the country’s coal import share from 26 per cent in 2019-20 to 21 per cent in the current fiscal year.

Addressing the increasing power demand, Joshi stressed the need for enhanced coal production. Efforts to reduce import dependency include expanding washing capacity for coking and domestic coal. Speaking at the 9th tranche of coal block auction, he outlined plans to auction 26 coal blocks, promoting private sector participation in the coal sector.

Coal Secretary, Amrit Lal Meena, disclosed that coal blocks from Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, along with mines from Jharkhand and Telangana, are part of the auction. The government aims to boost private sector involvement by removing eligibility criteria and restrictions on coal sale/utilisation. Additionally, a Single Window Clearance System (SWCS) portal has been introduced for obtaining various clearances to expedite coal mine operationalization.

The government, foreseeing a power demand of 335 GW by 2030, revised plans to increase coal-fired capacity to 80 GW, up from the initial target of 51 GW. Despite efforts to diversify the energy mix, India acknowledges its reliance on coal to meet the growing power demand.

Joshi Aims to Eradicate Coal Imports by Fiscal Year 2026

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