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Centre aims to cut coal imports, save Rs.40,000 crore in 2016-17 

New Delhi, May 4 (IANS) In view of increased domestic coal production, the government has decided to reduce coal imports this fiscal, thus saving an amount of Rs.40,000 crore from last year’s target of Rs.28,000 crore, Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal said on Wednesday.

“This year we are targetting Rs.40,000 crore in savings on account of importing less coal,” Goyal told reporters here at the launch of a Coal India portal – Contract Labour Payment Management System.

“None of the thermal power plants in the country has reported any critical stock position. In fact, all plants have sufficient coal to operate for about 26-27 days,” he added.

State miner Coal India has targeted the production of 598 million tonnes (MT) this fiscal, coal secretary Anil Srivastava said.

Goyal told the Rajya Sabha on Monday in a written reply that the power sector may import 48 million tonnes of coal in the ongoing fiscal for plants which need coal from overseas market.

He had earlier told the Lok Sabha that “enhanced availability of domestic coal has offset shortage of gas and has resulted in growth in overall thermal generation from coal and gas based power plants to 7.4 percent during the year 2015-16 as well as reduction of 10.6 MT import of coal by power sector”.

“During 2015-16, the energy shortage was 2.1 percent, which is the lowest ever in a single year,” he said.

Launching Coal India’s Contract Labour Payment Management System on Wednesday, Goyal said the data base of contract workers would help monitor their wage and PF payments as well as of the implementation of contract labour laws.

“The contract labour portal is our another step towards transparency and reaching information to the people of India,” he said.

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