"Coal production has increased substantially in the last three years (fiscals), resulting in savings of Rs 25,900 crore in imports," Singh said in his address to shareholders at the company's annual general meeting here.
Over missing files, the government, then led by the UPA, had incurred the wrath of the Court when the Ministry was asked in 2013 if it was "an attempt to destroy records" to impede the CBI investigation.
The decision comes as a dozen power plants are staring at a bleak scenario for want of coal. "Of a little over 50 mt of coal earmarked for the ongoing fiscal for the non-regulated sector, including sponge iron, cement and CPPs (captive power plants), Coal India (CIL) will auction linkages of around 25 million tonnes (mt) either in December or January," a senior government official said.
"In order to assess/discuss the bottlenecks/reason for low response, Secretary (Coal) has desired to hold a meeting with the prospective bidders from the Steel industry," it said, adding that the prospective bidders are requested to be present at the meeting.
Coal India has ambitious target of raising its annual production to 1 billion tonnes by 2020 from around 550 million tonnes at present. "Out of 120 (mining) coal projects, 58 projects are running on schedule and 62 are delayed," the PSU said.
"No, no... I don't think that at present there is any need for it (merger of coal and mines ministries). Both the ministries are different. Both are functioning properly," he told PTI. Tomar got back the charge of the mines ministry after Sunday's Cabinet reshuffle in which his predecessor Piyush Goyal has been made the railways minister.
Coal India is fully capable to fulfil the coal demand in India, he said, adding the company has plans to open new mines in the future.
The minister said Coal India and Bharat Coking Coal have agreed to set up 12 new coking coal washeries by 2019-20
One of these projects is a centre which would have a simulated virtual reality mine to provide training
"Coal will remain the dominant fuel choice for India's power sector, given the vast domestic feedstock available to power generators," BMI Research said in the report.
Comparatively, in 2015-16 fiscal, coal imports stood at 203.95 MT, as per official data by the government.
Analysts have raised doubts about whether Adani can fund what would be Australia's biggest coal mine given opposition from green groups and volatile coal prices.
In a notice to the bidders, the government said "the tender process for the coal mines being auctioned under 5th tranche of auction of coal mine has been terminated in accordance with Clause 3.3.2(b) of the tender document".
Production in July was 36.6 mt as against the target of 37.6 mt. The offtake of coal by CIL during April-July stood at 181.6 mt compared to the stipulated 194 mt.
"The PSU coal mining behemoth has booked 32.7 million tonne of coal through different e-auction schemes during April-June 2017 against 24.8 million tonne in the same quarter in the previous fiscal, an increase of 7.9 million tonne," a CIL official told PTI.
The state-owned Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL) said coal production stood at 4.4 million tonnes during last month as against 3.8 million tonnes in July last year.
Coal-fired plants make up 60 percent of India's 330 gigawatt (GW) of installed power capacity and account for the bulk of industrial emissions of lung-damaging particulate matters and gases such as sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides that cause acid rain.
The Road, Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister also asked global players like Volvo and Stena Lines whether they could run automobile and shipping fleet on methanol.
"What happened is as per CVC's (Central Vigilance Commission) norms that you need three bids(for each mine).So now, they (coal ministry) will have to find an answer for that. They will be consulting CVC and work out a mechanism for it," Steel Secretary Aruna Sharma told PTI.
Minister of State for Coal Piyush Goyal in a written reply to Lok Sabha said 190.95 million tonnes (provisional) of coal valued at Rs 1,00,231.3 crore was imported in the last fiscal.
Potash contracts signed by India, one of the world's top buyers of the crop nutrient, help set the global benchmark along with buying by China, the world's biggest consumer. Their contract prices are closely watched by other regional buyers Malaysia and Indonesia.
As per the production targets in National Steel Policy 2017, the coking coal requirement is projected to increase from the current level of around 60 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) to 160 MTPA.
In the first phase, NTPC plans to build three new plants with a combined capacity of more than 5 gigawatts, nearly double the capacity of those currently being phased out.
"This is highest ever production achieved in any given quarter," SCCL said in a statement.
"The MDO route presents a large growth opportunity for domestic engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) players with a demonstrated relevant track record, subject to attractive mine economics," the ratings agency said in a statement here.