New Delhi: The country is aiming to be surplus in coal production by FY26, Union Minister for Coal Pralhad Joshi informed Parliament on Wednesday. India may be surplus in coal production except for some high quality fossil fuel and coking coal needed for the steel industry and imported coal-based power plants.
Replying to a query in Lok Sabha, coal and mines minister Pralhad Joshi said, "India is expected to be surplus in coal production by the year 2025-26 except for some high quality coal and coking coal required for steel sector and ICB plants."
To another query, the minster said that against the estimated coal demand of 1,196.60 million tonne (MT) in the current fiscal, the country's production target of the fossil fuel is 1,012.14 MT. Joshi said "the estimated coal demand for 2023–24 is 1,196.60 MT."
The coal production target for 2023–24 is 1,012.14 MT, the minister said.
The government, he said, under a Central sector scheme, carries out the exploration of coal and lignite through Central Mine Planning & Design Institute Ltd (CMPDI) in two broad stages -- regional exploration and detailed drilling.
"Coal exploration is also carried out through National Mineral Exploration Trust (NMET) funding," he added, adding that the Geological Survey of India (GSI) also undertakes exploration of coal and lignite. As per the Inventory of India published by GSI for coal and lignite on April 1 last year, 6,457.72 MT of lignite resource are available in Rajasthan.
One open-cast lignite mine with a capacity of 2.1 million tonne per annum (MTPA) at Barsingsar, Bikaner district of Rajasthan, is operated by Neyveli Lignite Corporation India Ltd (NLCIL), and there is no immediate proposal for further mining activity in the desert state.