Cen­tre may al­lot PSUS 15 blocks for com­mer­cial coal min­ing ops

Resource Digest - - CONTENT -

Mov­ing ahead with its de­ci­sion to open up the coal sec­tor for com­mer­cial min­ing, govern­ment has iden­ti­fied 15 blocks to be al­loted to cen­tral and state PSUS for un­der­tak­ing pro­duc­tion and sale of the dry fuel.

With the al­lot­ment, the Cen­tre’s mo­nop­oly over min­ing and sale of coal will come to an end. “As many as fif­teen blocks have been iden­ti­fied for al­lot­ment to state and cen­tral PSUS for com­mer­cial min­ing,” a top of­fi­cial said.

Pre­lim­i­nary ex­plo­ration in most of th­ese blocks through ini­tial drilling has been done, which is known as re­gional ex­plo­ration, the of­fi­cial said. In the ini­tial stage of ex­plo­ration, Ge­o­log­i­cal Sur­vey of In­dia (GSI) un­der­takes re­gional ex­plo­ration of large ar­eas to find out the broad avail­abil­ity of coal seams, ge­o­log­i­cal struc­ture, re­sources etc, he said.

De­tailed ex­plo­ration of the blocks will fol­low once they are al­lot­ted to state or cen­tral PSUS, the of­fi­cial added. Re­cently, Coal Sec­re­tary Anil Swarup had said, “We are pre­par­ing ground­work for com­mer­cial min­ing... We are look­ing at a few mines and the work has been un­der­taken to iden­tify mines.”

“The min­istry is work­ing to­wards cre­at­ing a plat­form (for com­mer­cial min­ing) in the next 3-4 months”, he had said. For the first time in over 40 years, the govern­ment is throw­ing open the coal sec­tor for com­mer­cial min­ing, which at present is be­ing un­der­taken by the cen­tral PSU, Coal In­dia.

The Cab­i­net re­cently gave its ap­proval for al­lot­ting coal mines to cen­tral and state PSUS for sale of coal, es­pe­cially to medium, small and cot­tage in­dus­tries, un­der the pro­vi­sions of the Coal Mines (Spe­cial Pro­vi­sions) Act, 2015. The de­ci­sion was in line with the govern­ment’s tar­get of dou­bling coal pro­duc­tion to 1.5 bil­lion tonnes by 2020. Of this, it has fixed a tar­get of 1 bil­lion tonne of coal pro­duc­tion by Coal In­dia by 2020.

Coal In­dia ac­counts for over 80 per cent of the do­mes­tic pro­duc­tion and has a tar­get to pro­duce 550 mil­lion tonnes of coal this fis­cal.

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