Millennium Post

Plan commission says coal demand likely to rise

The Planning Commission on Tuesday said that the country's coal demand is likely to touch 1,000 million tonnes by 2016-17, much higher than estimated supply of 750 million.

'The demand of coal is estimated at 1,000 mn tonnes and we are assuming that domestic availability would be 750 mn tonnes,' Planning Commission Adviser (Energy) I A Khan said while addressing Indian Coal Markets Conference.

He also said the Plan panel has projected a growth of 7 per cent for commercial energy which includes coal, petroleum, hydro. 'Initially it was planned to have some 8-9 per cent growth,' he said.

He also said that in order to achieve expected GDP growth rate of 8.2 per cent, 'we have to plan to increase the availability of energy by 7 per cent in terms of commercial energy which includes mainly coal'.

The gap in demand and supply of coal widened to 161.5 mn tonnes last fiscal, an official statement earlier said, adding that the projected demand of coal was 696 mn tonnes in 2011-12, while the supply was 534.5 mn tonnes.It further said that in 2010-11 the shortfall of coal was to the tune of 132.8 mn tonnes while in 2009-10 it was 90.5 mn tonnes.The government, it said, has taken various measures to scale up the production of fossil fuel, including expediting both environment and forestry clearances. In addition, a number of steps have been taken by Coal India and its subsidiaries for augmenting coal production.

As per annual plan for 2012-13, against the demand of 512 mn tonnes, the supply of the fossil fuel has been estimated at 404.7 mn tonnes.
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