The Union Minister of State for Coal Pratik PrakashBapu Patil has recently said in the Rajya Sabha that the Coal India (CIL) has been meeting more than 90 per cent of its supply commitment as against the annual plan target finalised by the Ministry of Coal/Planning Commission. The gap between demand and supply of coal in the country is to be met through coal imports, he added.
Considering the gap between coal demand and indigenous availability, the government of India has placed coal under Open General License (OGL) to facilitate import of coal freely by anyone in the country on payment of applicable duties.
Over the years, the government has also reduced the import duty on coal to zero per cent for coking coal and 5 per cent for non-coking coal in 2004-05. Further, in the Union Budget for 2013-14, in respect of steam coal and bituminous coal, Government has reduced the import duty to 2% and has levied countervailing duty of 2 per cent.
In the draft Annual Plan for 2013-14, Ministry of Coal/Planning Commission has assessed the demand of coal in the country as 769.69 million tonne. Against this demand, supply plan from indigenous sources has been planned to be 614.55 million tonne with a demand-supply gap of 155.04 million tonne which is envisaged to be met through imports by consuming sectors.