Parliamentary Panel Recommends Phasing off Coal Imports

Story Highlights
  • Parliamentary standing committee on energy releases report on phasing imports gradually.
  • The report came at the backdrop of the nations’ unprecedented heatwave.
  • The committee advises the Ministry of coal and the Ministry of power to handle the matter collectively.

New Delhi: According to the parliamentary standing committee on energy, the union ministries of power and coal shall work together effectively to guarantee the best possible use of domestic coal so that imports can gradually be phased out.

As the Parliamentary panel head, Rajiv Ranjan Singh said in its 26th report that initiatives taken by both ministries resulted in a 56% decrease in coal imports for merging in FY21, but higher international costs affected imported coal-based power plants. According to a report, this resulted in a rise in domestic coal demand and a corresponding decline in domestic coal reserves at power plants.

The suggestions on phasing down imports follow India’s exit from a serious coal crisis in April and May when the nation was experiencing an unprecedented heatwave that increased the electricity demand. This compelled the government to release tenders for the importation of coal.

The Central Electricity Authority and the power ministry, according to the report, had ordered energy producer companies to import and refill essential coal stocks at power plants. While urging the ministry to take the proper lessons from the 2021 incident, the committee reiterates its suggestion that the ministries of coal and the ministry of power collaborate and undertake concerted efforts for the best possible utilisation of domestic coal deposits while keeping in mind the fundamental objective of gradually ceasing coal imports.

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