Coal import was at 145 million tonnes in 2012-13, according to a Coal Ministry document.

The import of dry fuel rose at a time when state-run miner Coal India, which accounts for over 80 percent of the domestic production, missed its output target in the last financial year.

Coal India (CIL) produced 462 million tonnes in the year ended March 31, 2014, against a target of 482 million tonnes. In 2012-13, CIL produced 452.5 million tonnes of coal, short of the goal of 464 million tonnes.

About 24 percent of coking coal is mostly imported from Australia and is used in the steel sector. While 76 percent is non-coking coal imported from Indonesia and South Africa for both power and cement sector, the official document said.

As per the 12th Plan documents, coal demand-supply gap is estimated to further rise to 185 mt in 2016-17, it said.

According to Central Electricity Authority (CEA), the power sector which alone imported 80.30 mt of coal in 2013-14 is likely to import 171 MT of fossil fuel by the end of 12th Plan period (2012-17), and 188 MT by 13th Plan, it said.

Coal is the mainstay of India's energy programme as 70 percent of power generation is dependent on the dry fuel.


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