Coal imports declined by 19.2 per cent to 16.38 million tonnes last month on the back of sufficient availability of domestic fuel.
Imports in May last year stood at 20.29 million tonnes, according to mjunction services, an online procurement and sales platform jointly floated by SAIL and Tata Steel. According to mjunction services CEO & MD Viresh Oberoi, the import of non-coking coal was lower as most of the domestic coal-based power plants, particularly PSU power plants, had cut down significantly on their use of imported coal due to ample availability of domestic coal. The coal import by these plants stood at only 2.30 million tonnes in April this year as compared to 4.56 million tonnes imported in the same month of 2015. The government had earlier said India plans to completely stop thermal coal imports in 2-3 years that would result in annual savings of Rs 40,000 crore.