NEW DELHI: Union minister Pralhad Joshi on Monday asked state-owned Coal India Ltd and its subsidiaries to make all out efforts to ensure at least 18 days of coal stock with thermal power plants by the end of the month.
State-owned Coal India Ltd (CIL) has been prioritising the supply of coal temporarily to power producers to replenish dwindling stocks of the dry fuel.
Addressing the 47th foundation day function of Coal India Ltd (CIL) virtually, the Union coal minister called upon CIL to attain 1 billion ton production by the end of 2024.
He directed the CMDs of coal PSUs to formulate revised targets and detailed strategy to attain this goal.
The minister pointed out that international coal prices have increased more than three times recently which resulted in 38 per cent decrease in coal imports to India.
At the same time, electricity demand has gone up by more than 24 per cent indicative of robust economic growth.
Complimenting the dedicated manpower of CIL, Joshi recalled his recent visits to coal mines in different parts of the country.
He said that even during lockdown days due to COVID-19, coal warriors worked round-the-clock to ensure the energy security of the nation.
Minister of State for Coal, Mines and Railways Raosaheb Patil Danve who also addressed the foundation day and award ceremony virtually, underlined the need to make use of the huge coal deposits available in the country.
Coal India accounts for over 80 per cent of domestic coal output.
Joshi on Thursday had said CIL had stepped up the fuel supply to meet the increased demand of the power sector and arrest shortages at thermal power plants caused due to the rising cost of the imported coal.
The government had said the coal supply to thermal power plants has been rising consistently, which is evident from the rise in stock at the power plants' end.
As per a report of the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), the coal stock with power plants stood at 9.03 million tonnes as of October 26.