State-owned CIL's coal allocation under special forward e-auction for the power sector declined 28.7 per cent to 4.74 million tonnes in the first quarter of the ongoing fiscal, official data showed. Coal India Ltd (CIL) had allocated 6.65 million tonnes (MT) of coal in April-June period of the last fiscal, according to coal ministry data. Coal allocation by the Maharatna firm under the scheme declined to 0.64 MT last month, from 0.88 MT in June 2019, the data showed.
Coal distribution through forward e-auction is aimed at providing access to coal for such consumers who wish to have an assured supply over a long period, say one year, through e-auction mode so as to plan their operations. The purpose of the scheme is to provide equal opportunities to all intending coal consumers to purchase coal for own consumption through single window services and at a price determined by themselves through the process of online bidding.
CIL is one of the major suppliers of coal to the power sector. The PSU, which is already reeling under the impact of the COVID-19 crisis which has hit demand and supply of coal, had recently said the situation will remain uncertain in July-September as some states are resorting to fresh lockdowns.
The state-owned miner produced 18.05 MT of coal during July 1 to July 16 against an output of 19.61 MT in the same period last year. Coal production in some of the major mines is still affected due to high coal stock and less offtake. Pithead stock of CIL as on July 16 was 72.88 MT as compared to 33.17 MT during the same period last year, it had said.
Coal India, which accounts for over 80 per cent of domestic coal output, is eyeing 710 MT of coal output in 2020-21.