to be sustainable,” said Dilip Kumar Jena, senior consultant and knowledge manager, mining, PwC.
India imported 89 million tonnes of coal during 2011-12 and the figure is expected to cross 100 million tonnes this year. Given the recent trend of stagnation at CIL, the Planning Commission had estimated that India's coal imports could rise to 138 million tonnes in the year 2016-17. This could drain out $ 25-30 billion of forex reserves, depending on market price. But the turnaround, if sustained, could go a long way in reducing India's dependence on imported coal and check forex outflows.
But a resurgent CIL has said that it may not have to import any coal for pooling from 2006-17 and that it can meet fuel requirement of the power sector from indigenous production alone. About 80% of CIL's production is non-coking coal which is consumed by the power sector.