The government is working on a policy to ensure power plants have surplus availability of coal, Union Minister Piyush Goyal said on Thursday. To a query on whether the government proposes to formulate a policy to ensure surplus availability of coal for power plants, Goyal replied in the affirmative.
“A policy for allocation of coal to the power sector is under formulation,” Goyal, who holds coal and power portfolio, said in a written response to the query in the Lok Sabha.
Speaking of the declining trend in coal import, the minister said that in April-January of 2016-17, import of the fossil fuel fell 2.59 per cent compared to a year ago.
Because of increased production, coal import slumped to 199.88 mt in 2015-16, from 217.78 mt in 2014-15.
However, it is not solely dependent on domestic production, which is also linked to other factors, including insufficient availability of coking coal of the required grade.
As per the International Energy Agency (IEA), India is the third-largest producer and second-largest importer of coal in 2014 in the world, the minister said.
Goyal further said technology development is a continuous process and the government has laid emphasis on updating technologies by coal companies.
“Coal companies have already adopted appropriate technologies for coal mining as well pre-processing of coal. With regard to combustion of coals for power generation, the power sector has also adopted high efficient low emission technologies like super critical technology in line with the policy of the government to reduce emissions and improve efficiency,” he said.