Policy

Single window, online approval launched for commercial coal mining firms

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 11, 2021

58% of the primary energy requirement is met by coal, 2% through renewable sources

Companies that have won the rights to commercially mine coal blocks will now get approvals (required to operationalise mining operations) online instead of having to physically approach various departments, with the launch of a unified platform.

The government on Monday launched a single window clearance portal where the approvals will be given in phases, as it signed agreements with several companies for commercial development of coal blocks. Companies require about 19 clearances from different departments before starting commercial mining, said Coal and Mines Minister Pralhad Joshi.

Also read: India's coal import drops 17 per cent in April-November: mjunction

Joshi added that the government plans to launch the next round of coal auctions in January 2021 (this month). “Based on the experience of mineral-rich states in auctioning minerals in the last few years….we plan to bring structural reforms in the mining sector very shortly..,” said Joshi, without further details.

Anil Kumar Jain, Secretary, Coal Ministry, indicated that commercialisation of domestic coal will result in lower electricity prices, as imported coal ― which adds ocean freight costs ― is more expensive than domestic coal.

Coal will continue to meet India’s increasing energy demand in India, Joshi said. Stating that coal will continue to play a significant role though promoting renewable energy is desirable, Jain said that 58 per cent of the primary energy requirement is met by coal, and 2 per cent through renewable sources.

Home Minister Amit Shah, who launched the single window portal on Monday, said that the coal sector will be the biggest contributor to India’s aim to become a $5-trillion economy. With commercialisation of coal, states will get revenue, employment will be generated, and India’s import of coal will drop due to domestic production, said Shah.

Also read: Coal India hopes to end the fiscal with auction bookings of 120 mt

In November, commercial coal mining rights were auctioned for coal blocks in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Odisha. Companies that bagged the rights to commercially mine the coal blocks include Aurobindo Reality and Infrastructure Private Limited, EMIL Mines and Mineral Resources, Adani Enterprises, Jindal Power, Chowgule and Company, Fairmine Carbons Private Limited, JMS Mining, Boulder Stone Mart, Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corporation, Stratatech Mineral Resources and Sarda Energy.

Published on January 11, 2021

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