India may face 200 mn tonnes coal shortage

"Unless we facilitate the new production through proactive measures, the gap in demand and supply from domestic sources would exceed 200 million tonnes in the 12th plan period, with the power sector being the most adversely affected,” he said at a conference organised by India Energy Forum here.

He said the gap in demand and supply of coal had been widening over the year and the situation was likely to worsen during the next plan period.

Coal demand grew by 7.3 percent while coal production increased by just 5.4 percent in the first four years of the 11th Plan period (2007-12).

“Coal India has its own limitations in augmenting production and satisfying the consumers as per the projected demand. The policy of captive mining has also not helped the sector to the desired extent,” Jaiswal said.

He said only 28 blocks had entered into coal production of the 194 blocks allotted to public and private companies.

“Both public and private companies are suffering due to delays in obtaining environmental and forestry clearances in addition to the constraints in land acquisition,” he said.

Expressing concern over the slow progress of captive coal mining projects, Jaiswal said:
"Early solutions need to be found for various problems facing the coal sector so that the economy can go ahead with the planned growth rate and the coal sector is enabled to play its rightful role in fuelling this growth.”

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