In an effort to curb the continued criticism of its ability to meet domestic demand, India’s state-owned Coal India Limited (CIL) is reportedly planning to favour the power sector, supplying it with all the extra coal produced this year and in the coming few years.

According to a top CIL executive, who asked not to be named, incremental production will be supplied exclusively to the power sector “for several years to come”.

“Last year we supplied 315m tonnes to the power sector. This year we will produce an additional 32.5m tonnes, all of which would go to power plants,” the executive confirmed.

“In the coming year too, we expect a further incremental production of 32.5m tonnes.”

In the previous fiscal year, CIL missed its production target of 468m tonnes by 12m tonnes, although output increased 5.8 per cent year-on-year. It also failed to meet production targets in the preceding two fiscal years, despite output increasing.

CIL, which has a monopoly in coal mining in the country, also supplies coal to other crucial industrial sectors, such the cement, iron and steel industries. However, the power sector is by far the biggest coal consumer, taking 78 per cent of domestic production.

This has meant that power projects, most of which are fuelled by coal, have been the worst hit by the continuing shortage of the fuel.

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