Indian power plants have enough coal on hand to operate even if nothing is mined over the next 50 to 60 days, the coal and power minister said ahead of a proposed one-day strike by some Coal India workers on Friday.
"The nation as a whole has sufficient supply of coal," minister Piyush Goyal said late on Tuesday at a conference in Mumbai, according to a government statement released on Thursday.
"Even if no coal is mined for the next 50 to 60 days, the power industry can rest assured that they would get an uninterrupted supply of coal to keep their plants running".
More than a million workers across multiple sectors plan to strike on Friday for higher wages and to protest against Prime Minister Narendra Modi's labour reforms.
The turnaround of Coal India has been one of Modi's main successes, and the company is producing so much these days that it is having to consider exports for the first time as there is a local oversupply.
Coal Secretary Anil Swarup told Reuters this week that a team of Coal India officials will visit Bangladesh soon to finalise terms of a possible supply deal.
Coal-fired power plants had an average of 21 days of stocks as of last Monday, and Coal India has millions of tonnes of already-mined coal it has been struggling to sell.