To address rising prices of imported coal, the government is monitoring domestic production of the fuel at regular intervals to avoid shortage, Parliament was informed on Monday.
"Multi-dimensional efforts are underway by the Ministry of Coal to enhance production of domestic coal beyond current year's target," Power Minister Piyush Goyal said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.
The minister added: "In order to bridge the shortfall in availability of indigenous coal, Central Electricity Authority (CEA) in consultation with the power utilities advices the quantities for import of coal for power generation at thermal plants, as per their needs."
However, import of coal is the prerogative of respective power utility, Goyal added.
Coal India has set a target of 502 million tonnes (MT) of fuel production target by the end of this fiscal 2014-15. It further plans to extract one billion tonnes of coal by 2019-2020.
Meanwhile, Goyal, who also holds charge of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy said: "The government encourages setting up of solar power projects by grant of subsidy on off-grid applications, concessional import duty exemption for setting up solar power plants and tax holiday."
The government has set a target of generating 1,75,000 MW through renewable energy sources including 1,00,000 MW alone from solar power.
It is also setting up 25 solar parks and ultra mega solar power projects of aggregate capacity of 20,000 MW in various states.
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