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India to stop import of thermal coal from FY24: Pralhad Joshi

IANS

Kevadia

India will stop importing thermal coal from FY24, Union Minister of Coal and Mines Pralhad Joshi said while chairing a two-day brainstorming session — “Chintan Shivir” — here.

The session was organised to find a way forward for the coal sector.

“The ‘Shivir’ has engaged the participants in contemplating and deliberating to think out of the box to overcome various bottlenecks and provide innovative solutions to the Indian coal sector,” Joshi said while interacting with the media on the sidelines of the event.

Highlighting the key takeaways of the “Shivir”, the coal minister said that various ways and means were discussed with key stakeholders to achieve 1 billion tonnes (BT) coal production target by Coal India Limited (CIL) by the financial year 2023-24.

The Ministry of Coal will coordinate with the Indian Railways and the Shipping Ministry and enable CIL, captive and commercial miners evacuate more coal by 2030.

Stressing on the diversification in the Indian coal sector, the minister said that ideas have also been mooted that CIL could think of coming up with a state-of-the-art pithead thermal power plants to transform it into an integrated energy company.

It was also proposed that CIL could generate 5 GW of solar power by FY 2023-24 and could diversify into coal gasification with a target of 50 million tonnes by 2030, enabling a sustainable energy mix for the country.

All these ideas will be deliberated, studied and examined for their feasibility in detail and based on that, they could be implemented.

The minister further stressed upon the safety of workers in the coal mining sector and urged coal companies to achieve zero mortality rate by FY 2023-24.

He also announced that the Ministry of Coal will introduce a “Coal Minister’s Award” soon to recognise and appreciate best practices in coal production, productivity, safety, sustainability etc. by the coal companies.

During the two-day event, strategies were evolved for sustainable mining, environmental conservation, use of clean coal technologies and for extending helping hand to all stakeholders in and around coal mining areas to coexist in a mutually sustainable manner.

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