India exported 8 lakh tonnes of coal to its neighbouring nations, including Nepal, in the fiscal year ended March 2021.
Of the said quantity, the maximum 77.20 per cent was exported to Nepal, followed by 13.04 per cent to Bangladesh, according to the Coal Ministry's Provisional Coal Statistics 2020-21.
"Although, there was short supply of coal in India compared to its demand and it had to resort to import of coal, India exported some quantity of coal to its neighbouring countries during the year 2020-21," it said.
Coal was exported mainly to Nepal 0.618 million tonnes (MT), followed by Bangladesh 0.104 MT, it added.
"In spite of sufficient coal reserve, we have not been able to meet our demand from our own production. Moreover, the supply of high-quality coal (low-ash coal) in the country has been limited," it added.
Therefore, to bridge the demand and supply gap as well as to provide high quality coal for use in various industries, the country has no option but to resort to import of coal, especially low-ash coal, it said.
In FY'21, import of raw coal of the country was 214.995 MT valued at Rs 1,16,037.2 crore against import of 248.537 MT valued at Rs 1,52,732.1 crore in 2019-20.
"Thus, in the year 2020-21, import of coal decreased by 13.50 per cent over the previous year," he said.