The government has advised power companies to import 35 million tonnes of coal during the current financial year to tide over supply shortages.

“In order to bridge the shortfall in indigenous coal availability, power utilities have been advised to import 35 million tonnes of coal,” Minister of State for Power Bharatsinh Solanki on Monday said in the Rajya Sabha.

The total dry fuel required for plants using indigenous coal is 440 million tonnes and for the ones using imported coal is 12 million tonnes.

“In addition 12 million tonnes coal is also required to be imported during the current fiscal to meet the requirement of power projects designed on imported coal,” Mr. Solanki said.

Country’s largest power generator NTPC, which has a total coal requirement of about 145—150 million tonnes this fiscal, would import 14 million tonnes.

State—run Coal India Ltd would also import four million tonnes of coal for NTPC during the fiscal.

Meanwhile, Coal Ministry has allocated 97 captive coal blocks for power projects of state and central utilities and independent power producers.

More In: Industry | Business