FM opens up commercial mining in coal sector, unveils reforms

She said 500 blocks of minerals will be auctioned in a composite exploration-cum-mining-cum-production regime

government, coal mines, auctioned, revenue, Pralhad Joshi, Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, 2015, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Maharashtra
Mishap took place at an Open Cast Coal Mine of state-owned Singareni Collieries Company Ltd (SCCL) in Peddapalli district.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday (May 16) said that the Central government will introduce competition, transparency and private sector participation in the coal sector and will do infrastructure development of ₹50,000 crore.

In the fourth tranche of ₹20 lakh crore stimulus package, Sitharaman also announced the introduction of a seamless composite “exploration-cum-mining-cum-production regime” while addressing a press conference along with Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur.

She said 500 blocks of minerals will be auctioned in a composite exploration-cum-mining-cum-production regime.

Advertisement

This, she said, will help the aluminium industry reduce electricity costs.

She said the distinction between captive and non-captive mines will be removed to allow the transfer of mining leases and sale of surplus unused minerals, leading to better efficiency and production.

Related news: All you need to know: Fourth tranche of Centre’s stimulus package

In the coal sector, private sector participation will be done through a revenue-sharing mechanism instead of regime of fixed rupee/tonne wherein any party can bid for a coal block and sell in the open market.

She said that the government will allow private sector participation in exploration. She added that coal gasification/liquefication will be incentivised through rebate in revenue share, which will result in significantly lower environmental impact and will assist India in switching to a “gas-based economy.”

Sitharaman said that infrastructure development of ₹50,000 crore in the sector for the evacuation of enhanced Coal India Limited’s (CIL) target of one billion tonnes coal production by 2023-24 plus coal production from private blocks. This measure will also help reduce environmental impact.

The Coal Bed Methane (CBM) extraction rights to be auctioned from the CIL’s coal mines, she said.

Also, a joint auction of Bauxite and coal mineral blocks will be introduced to enhance the aluminium industry’s competitiveness.

She also informed about the removal of the distinction between captive and non-captive mines to allow the transfer of mining leases and sale of surplus unused minerals, leading to better efficiency in mining and production.

Related news: FM announces FDI hike in defence production; bans imports of some weapons

“Rationalisation of stamp duty payable at the time of award of mining leases will be done,” she said.

(With inputs from agencies.)

Get breaking news and latest updates from India
and around the world on thefederal.com
FOLLOW US: