NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's coal imports fell for a sixth month in December, a government official said Wednesday, as the world's third-biggest buyer of the fuel expands domestic mines to boost output and expand power generation.
India shipped in 12.35 million tonnes of coal last month, a 34.3 percent decline from the same month a year ago. Imports slipped thanks to a jump in production by state-run Coal India (COAL.NS), the world's biggest miner of the fuel that is opening one new mine a month as the government fast-tracks environmental clearances.
"Record coal production by Coal India leads to further reduction in imports," Coal Secretary Anil Swarup tweeted.
Coal India's April-December production grew by a record 9 percent, keeping the country on course to reduce annual imports for the first time in five years.
(Reporting by Sankalp Phartiyal)