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Coal import to grow 28.3 pc this year: CMIE

Mumbai: With the current coal production failing to meet the growing demand, economic think tank Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) expects the import of the fuel to grow by over 28 per cent this fiscal.

Coal imports are expected to grow by 28.3 per cent at 127 million tonnes, it said in its monthly report. "Domestic coal production is not sufficient to meet the rising demand from power, cement and steel industries. Therefore, the country relies on imported coal," CMIE said.

Domestic companies largely import coal from Australia, South Africa and Indonesia, it said, adding the imported fuel accounts for 10-15 percent of total supply.

Meanwhile, coal production is expected to grow 8.3 per cent in FY13, the report said. "Increase in coal mining capacity and scrapping of go/no-go classification will help coal companies in reporting a healthy production growth," it said.

In FY12, coal production remained subdued with a mere 1.2 percent rise. "Various reasons such as heavy rains and floods in mining areas, miners` strikes, the Telangana agitation and environmental issues had taken a toll on coal production."

"We assume rainfall to be normal this year and we believe there will not be any disruption in coal mining activities due to flooding. Besides, the environment and forest ministry has scrapped the go and no-go classification of the coal blocks. This is expected to drive coal production upwards in FY13," the Mumbai-based agency said.

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