"The value of India's coal imports have risen by 38.2 percent to Rs 1,38,477 crore in 2017-18. However, the quantity of coal imports has increased only by 9.1 percent from 190.95 MT to 208.27 MT," Coal and Railways Minister Piyush Goyal said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
Prosecutors said in a statement that the four people and their five entities were charged with violating a law requiring government approval to bring in North Korean products.
Coal imports in November increased 10.1 percent to 19.47 MT, over 17.68 MT in the same period a year ago.
Acting EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler signed a proposal to dismantle a 2015 rule that any new coal power plants include cutting-edge techniques to capture the carbon dioxide from their smokestacks.
"ICRA has given a stable outlook for the port sector, in its year-end assessment. The prospects for the Indian port sector players in the medium term are expected to be favourable, supported by continuing healthy growth in cargo of major volume drivers - Coal, Crude and Containers," the rating agency said in a statement.
Despite efforts to tackle global warming, worldwide demand for coal was up one percent last year, mainly due to demand in Asia.
While this is not the first time a state will buy all the power produced by the central utility, normally, a state gets 15 percent of power allocated to it while it can buy more under a power purchase agreement.
Coal imports by the world's top consumer of the material used for power generation, heating and steelmaking rose in the first 10 months of 2018 to 252 million tonnes, up 11 percent from a year ago and not far below last year's total of 279 million tonnes, according to official data.
The Paris-based IEA said in its World Energy Outlook 2018 that energy demand would grow by more than a quarter between 2017 and 2040 assuming more efficient use of energy - but would rise by twice that much without such improvements.
However, there was a 6.8 percent drop in coal and coke imports in October as compared to 19.77 MT imported during the same month last financial year.
Imports jumped 35 percent to 42.7 million tonnes during the three months ended Sept. 30, according to data from American Fuels & Natural Resources, a Dubai-based trader of coal from the United States which tracks coal shipments around the region.
In the letter to PMO, dated October 4, ICPPA said aluminium is a highly power-intensive industry and around 14,500 kWh (kilowatt hour) units are used for production of 1 tonne of aluminium metal, which requires 11.7 tonne coal.
The Aluminium Association of India (AAI) has written to the Centre pointing out that coal supplies for captive power plants are being diverted to the power sector
The rise in imports comes at a time when the captive power plants in the country are grappling with the issue of coal shortages
Coal India had revised its internal production target to 652 million tonne against 630 million tonne fixed earlier.
State-run SAIL requires about 15 million tonne (MT) coking coal annually, of which 12-13 MT is imported
The world's largest miner said the coal ministry was now in the process of finalising the Vision 2030 document
Since stressed power plants cannot afford to outbid bigger players, they are forced into a vicious cycle of running below maximum capacity, relying on debt to procure the next shipment of coal to keep the plant operational.
So far, a total of 84 coal mines have auctioned and allotted and the allottees are required to develop the mines as per the milestones prescribed in the agreement.
While fundamentals are improving, the stock may remain under pressure as a result of the government’s planned divestment
According to a recent report by the ratings agency, considering a 6-7 per cent increase in electricity demand, coal-based power generation is likely to rise to 996 billion units from 951 billion units.
The company is expected to report an earnings per share (EPS) of about Rs 27 a share in FY19.
The ministry said that the respective thermal power plants may approach the appropriate commission (power regulator) for approval of additional cost on account of this change in law.
The ministry, however, stressed that it expects power plants to lift their requirement in time to avoid any shortage which was witnessed last year after the rainy season.
Four central trade unions of CIL had served notice to go on a one-day strike on April 16, protesting against the commercial coal mining.