Next tranche of commercial mining auction to be launched this month: Coal Minister

NEW DELHI: Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi on Monday said the
commercial mines
auction will
month and stressed that further rounds will continue thereafter.

Speaking at the agreement signing ceremony for
commercial coal
mining and launch
of single-window clearance system, he said
commercial coal
mining has been made a part
of the system now.

auction would
launched in January 2021, and further tranches will continue thereafter,” the minister said.

Speaking at the function, Home Minister Amit Shah said the country has reached a position where the coal sector can
be the biggest contributor towards the target
of India becoming a USD 5 trillion economy by 2025.

He said despite having the world’s fourth-largest coal reserves, India is importing coal and
this is not right for the country.

The Coal Minister said the single-window clearance portal is in the spirit
of minimum government and maximum governance. It would
be a milestone for ease
of doing business in the country’s coal sector.

Presently, about 19 major approval or clearances are required before starting a coal mine in the country. In the absence
of a unified platform for grant
of clearances, the companies were required
to approach different departments leading
to delay in operationalisation
of coal mines, Joshi said.

Now, the complete process will
be facilitated through the single-window clearance portal in a phased way.

The Centre, he said, has been progressing with a focused plan – bringing in transparency in the sector and opening it for the industry.

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“As the government we just have
be the invisible force behind. Given the opportunities, businesses will grow and carry India on their shoulders along,” he said.

Stating that, there is no dearth
of coal anywhere in the country, the minister said the stock
of dry-fuel at thermal power plants in the country has attained the highest-ever level, sufficient for 30 days.

To give a perspective, in 2014, two-third
of the major power plants had critical coal stocks
of less than seven days. Today, India is the second largest producer
of coal with a record production at 729 million tonnes (MT) in 2019-20,” he said.

The coal minister said that according
to the International Energy Agency and the US Energy Information Administration, coal will continue
to meet most
of the world’s increasing energy needs over the
next two decades.

The demand for coal is projected
to increase substantially over the
next several decades.

“I often say that we should make the maximum use
of our coal reserves while shifting
to cleaner forms
of energy. We cannot crush the energy aspirations
this nation in our quest
to follow the West,” the minister said.

He also appealed
to all states
to facilitate the opening
of all the mines auctioned for
commercial coal
mining so that India could make use
of its abundant coal resources.

“It will help our nation become Aatmanirbhar in Coal. It is impossible
to operate an industry or even grow crops without using some form
of energy. And energy will continue
to mean coal for several decades,” he explained.

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Based on the experience
of various mineral rich states and feedback received from the stakeholders, the government is bringing out reforms in the
mining sector.

These reforms will generate huge employment opportunities and increase the production
of minerals leading
to self-reliance.

“Several industry friendly measures which promote ease
of doing business in the
mining sector will
be brought in. I hope the upcoming reforms will unleash the potential
of the
mining sector in India,” he said.


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