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Jan 18, 2020, 05.18 AM IST

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COAL MINING

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  • The ministry cleared 14 of the 23 projects it considered. This is likely to help Coal India meet its targets of producing 750 million tonnes next fiscal requiring achievement of a 14% growth over current year’s 660 million tonnes target, and one billion tonnes target by 2024.

    In a bid to boost coal mining in the country, the Union government today approved an ordinance which is expected to boost FDI in the sector ...

    The government proposes to kick-start commercial coal mining auction process this month.

    Currently, companies other than steel and power, and coal washing services firms are barred from bidding for coal blocks. Through the amendment, the Centre proposes to open up coal mining to all firms with offices registered in India. The clause in present form can impede the government’s endeavour to open up the coal sector through commercial mining, the official said.

    Potential areas of cooperation shall include technical advisory by CMPDIL for works undertaken by SBICap and financial advisory by SBICap for works undertaken by CMPDIL related to due diligence, advisory, consultancy services for acquisition, development and related activities for coal, minerals and natural resources sector among others.

    Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI) has challenged the constitutional validity of the provisions of the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, 2015, and the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Rules, 2014, as they do not provide fair and equitable compensation in a time-bound manner to the prior allottees of the coal blocks consequent to de-allocation in 2014.

    “The coal ministry has decided against keeping any entry restrictions based on technical or financial criteria, which means there are not likely to be any net worth requirement for firms. The government will incentivise expeditious coal production by firms than restricting entry to ensure serious players,” a senior coal ministry official said.

    The mining sector in India is highly underdeveloped relative to its enormous potential.

    The union cabinet on 8 January 2020, opened up coal sector for commercial coal mining to firms. End-use restrictions were believed to be the reason for low participation in the auction process of these coal mines. With the removal of these restrictions, the Centre proposes to start with the first phase of commercial coal auctions within this financial year.

    The Centre proposes to open up bidding for coal blocks to all firms with offices registered in India. As per section 11A of the MMDR Act, the Centre can auction coal and lignite mining licences to companies engaged in iron and steel, power and coal washing sectors.

    The levy is estimated to raise Rs 650 crore from Coal India this year if it manages to meet its yearly production target. The resulting increase in the cost of power generation would be less than 1 paisa per unit, a Coal India executive said. It will, however, benefit some 5 lakh pension holders.

    The coal ministry on Monday said has decided to simplify the process of clearance for coal mining projects to expedite operationalisation of already allotted coal blocks and encourage prospective investors in future auctions. The ministry of coal has re-engineered the mining plan preparation and approval process

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