State-run Coal India is likely to miss the production target of 550 million tonnes (MT) for the current fiscal by 10-15 MT due to slump in demand, a top government official has said.
Coal India (CIL), which accounts for over 80 per cent of the domestic production, is aiming to double the output to one billion tonnes.
"(For CIL) 550 million tonnes would now be a little difficult in the given circumstances. I think they would be able to hit anywhere between 535 MT and 540 MT. Reason being there is a demand slump," Coal Secretary Anil Swarup said.
"Though the demand has gone up, it has not gone up at the rate at which it was expected because of the condition of discoms. So they are not picking up power. Since they are not picking up power the generation is not to the level it should be and consequently the offtake of coal is not to the level it should be," Swarup said.
Replying to another question, the secretary said the PSU has temporarily stopped production in one or two mines because of the accumulation of the stock at the blocks.
"In one or two mines where the stock gets accumulated they (CIL) stop the production. They (CIL) stop its every year. This year also they have stopped," the secretary said.
Swarup further said that nine of the mines, which were auctioned last year have already come into production, which were producing 10 million tonnes coal.
The government had earlier said that as many as 15 more coal mines that were auctioned last year would begin production by the end of this month.
in 2015, 31 coal mines were auctioned and 42 coal blocks were alloted in three tranches to central and state companies.
The government is mobilising over Rs.3 lakh crore from the auctions.
However, the government had to annul the process for the fourth round on account of poor response from bidders in sectors like steel as well as depressed commodity prices and adverse market conditions.
Now, the government plans to initiate the fourth round as and when market condition improves.