The demand will increase further as we are setting up new power plants. It is expected that we will have to import 194 million mt of coal in 2017,” said Pratik Prakashbapu Patil, Minister of State for Coal. “There will be more dependency on imported coal. The dependency has increased from 6% to 13% in the last five to six years.”

As per the Planning Commission, the demand supply gap for coal in the ongoing year is likely to reach 142 million mt with domestic availability of only 554 million mt against the requirement of 696 million mt. Output in 2011-12 was expected to reach 680 million mt but the estimate was later scaled down to 630 million mt in a mid-term appraisal.