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The country has imported 51.84 million tonnes of coking coal in FY19, Parliament was informed Monday. "The entire demand of coking coal is not met from domestic production as the supply of high quality coal/ coking coal (low-ash-coal) in the country is limited and thus no option is left but to resort to import of coking coal," Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi said in a reply to the Rajya Sabha. During 2018-19, coking coal import stood at 51.84 million tonnes (provisional), he said. "Reduction in Import of coal in the country is always a priority area of the Government," the minister noted.
The government has taken steps in order to increase availability of coking coal, he informed the house. State-owned Coal India Ltd (CIL) has planned to increase coking coal output from 34.12 million tonnes (MT) to 52.95 MT by 2019-20. CIL also plans to set up nine new coking coal washeries by 2020-21. "Supply of washed coking coal to Steel sector - will be enhanced to 15 MT in 3/4 years from now from the present level of 1.6 MT," the minister said.