The government has decided not to scale down Coal India Limited’s (CIL’s) production target of 710 million tonne (MT) for the current fiscal 2020-21. This is despite the fact that the country has more than enough stock of the dry fuel amid subdued power demand due to coronavirus lockdown. This is to be noted that the CIL’s pithead stock was 74 MT as on 31 March.
In spite of abundance of fuel stock and subdued demand by the power sector, the company will keep producing coal as the government feels that the electricity demand will pick up in the days ahead with the onset of summer. Union Minister of Coal and Mines Pralhad Joshi set this target for the state-run company while reviewing its performance through video conference. “The demand of coal will pick up again after coronavirus lockdown, so I have directed CIL to keep the production and offtake targets at 710 MT for financial year 2020-21 in line with its goal to achieve 1 billion tonne coal production by 2023-24,” Joshi said during the meeting.
The Minister stressed upon consistency in coal production throughout the year and directed the CIL management to make all necessary preparations so that production does not get affected even during the monsoon season. He asked CIL officials to provide quality coal to all consumers and make sure that sufficient coal is available at power plants during the year. He also asked the CIL management to approach the companies presently importing coal to cater their demand and advised to chalk out a detailed plan to substitute the import of coal.
“I am proud of our Coal Warriors who are toiling day and night to keep the lights on even during Corona Pandemic and hopeful that CIL will achieve all assigned targets on or before time. Government will extend all possible support to get the targets accomplished,” the minister added.