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PRALHAD JOSHI

Coal India will remain dominant player: Pralhad Joshi, Union Coal Minister

Coal India will continue to be India's biggest coal supplier even after the government’s decision to throw open the sector to private players through an ordinance, Union Coal and Mines Minister Pralhad Joshi said.

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  • "Notice Inviting Tenders for 26 more iron blocks have been issued," Joshi said in a reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha. Since 2015, 24 iron ore blocks have been auctioned, the minister said. As per available information, the consumption of iron ore was 166 million tonnes in 2016-17, 175 million tonnes in 2017-18 and 189 million tonnes during 2018-19, the minister said.

    The Lok Sabha recorded productivity of 116 per cent in the winter session while for Rajya Sabha it was at 99 per cent, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said on Friday, the last day of the session.

    The minister said considering the future of mining industry, the National Mineral Exploration Trust has been constituted under Section 9(C) of the MMDR Act for taking up detailed and regional exploration and studies for mineral development.

    “The pithead coal stock with CIL was 54.15 Million Tonne (MT) as on April 1, 2019 which reduced to 19.15 MT as on September 30, 2019. Thus, the coal stock liquidation was 35 MT in the first half of the financial year 2019-20” coal minister said in a reply to the Rajya Sabha. The minister also informed the upper house that CIL’s coal production rose by 10.6%.

    Union minister Smriti Irani was speaking in the Lok Sabha on the Unnao rape issue when she was interrupted by two Congress MPs who apparently got up from their seats and rushed towards the treasury benches. Meenakshi Lekhi, who was in the Chair, told Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury to ask his party MPs to come to the House and seek an apology.

    "It is heartening to know that Coal India has planned for huge capital investments for its works and expansion programmes, along with bringing in new technologies in its operations. The company will also be on hiring personnel and I am hopeful that it will achieve all assigned goals on time," the minister said.

    "The government has collected Rs 2,03,221.12 crore in revenue from Coal India in the last six years beginning from financial year 2013-14 up to the last fiscal 2018-19," Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

    Arvind Sawant, the lone Sena minister in the Union council of ministers submitted his resignation last Monday. The party said on Saturday that it would not attend a meeting of NDA constituents on the eve of the winter session of Parliament.

    The government has allocated Rs 937 crore for exploration of mines that are not associated with Coal India, for the ongoing financial year, Parliament was informed on Monday. Of this fund, Rs 120 crore has been earmarked for regional exploration and Rs 817 crore for detailed drilling, Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.

    Under Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, 2015, 31 mines have been allocated through auction so far, the minister said. Of the 31 mines, allocation of nine mines has been terminated for various reasons, Joshi said adding that of the remaining 22 mines, 13 have got opening permission and 11 are producing coal.

    The coal ministry recently enquired from the PSU about the operational status of the additional blocks allotted to it, and whether extraction from these coal blocks is techno-economically feasible. The govt was told that of the 110 additional CIL blocks, 50 were explored, 41 were under exploration and balance 19 were partly/regionally explored.

    The supply of coal to power sector by CIL in October dropped by 19.3 per cent to 33.8 MT, over 41.9 MT in October last fiscal. With torrential rains hitting coal production, Coal India had said that it was keeping a close watch on the current situation to ensure smooth supplies to power plants.

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