"There is an overall shortage of approximately 81 million tonnes of indigenous coal for power sector," Coal Minister Piyush Goyal said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

The coal requirement of plants designed on indigenous coal is 554 MT, while the total availability is only 473 MT, he said.

Goyal added that in order to ensure adequate availability of fuel to power utilities, Coal India Ltd has been asked to enhance production of domestic coal and the power utilities have also been advised to augment import of coal to meet the shortfall in domestic availability of coal.

He said that in the ongoing fiscal the country's coal demand has been assessed to be 787.03 MT, while the supplies from indigenous sources has been planned at 643.75 MT, leaving a gap of 143.28 MT to be met through imports.      

With a view to monitoring coal supplies to the power sector, an inter-ministerial sub-group consisting of representatives from the ministries like power and coal has been formed.

"The sub-group takes various operational decisions for meeting any contingent situations relating to power sector, including critical coal stock position," Goyal said.

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