Media reports indicate that India imported 135 million tonne (mn t) of coal in 2012-13, up sharply from 105 mn t in the previous year.
The country imports coking coal, briquettes, apart from thermal and coking coa. The latest numbers mean imports have increased five-fold over the past decade, some report suggest.
In 2012-13, the country imported 97.23 million tonne of thermal coal, while those of coking coal, used in making steel, rose 1.2 percent from a year earlier to 32.2 million tonne, the data showed.
According to data from the Central Electricity Authority,
more than half of the country's 223.3 gigawatt installed capacity is produced from coal.
Coal traders said they expect thermal coal shipments to rise further to 115 million-120 million tonne in the year to March 2014 on growing demand.
India plans to add generation capacity of 88.54 gigawatt in the five years to end-March 2017, compared with almost 55 gigawatt in the previous five-year period.
Coal imports in March rose 29 percent from a year earlier to 11.4 million tonnes, of which thermal coal shipments accounted for nearly 80 percent, the data showed.
Indonesia, the world's top exporter, shipped out 40 percent more coal to India from a year earlier at 77.49 million tonnes in 2012-13, the data showed. Australia and South Africa accounted for the bulk of the remainder.