New rail lines planned

The government will spend Rs.50,000 crore on coal evacuation infrastructure to further improve transportation and support the industry, said Anil Kumar Jain, Secretary, Ministry of Coal.

“We would be making the additional investment in the eastern part of India including Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Odisha to ramp up coal evacuation in the country,” Jain told a webinar ‘Stakeholders Consultation on Auction of Coal Mines for Commercial Mining’, organized by FICCI on 14 July 2020.

The Ministry is also in touch with the Railways to enhance the network for coal transportation, especially to support the industry and improve logistics in the coal sector, he informed.

“We don’t expect you to buy mines and also build rail corridors. The government is very alive to your issues. The government will be willing to support the industry to provide new railway lines or loops,” he assured.

Emphasizing on the importance of the auction of 41 coal blocks for commercial mining, Jain said that the government has come up with very liberal norms for commercial coal mining.

Jain said he is part of an Inter-Ministerial Empowered Committee, comprising Secretary Law, Secretary Petroleum and Secretary Department of Economic Affairs to sort out a time to time operational problems of the miners.

“From the government’s side, we have done all that was required for the ease of doing business and we will continue to do in the future also.

“Environment Clearance and Forest Clearance systems have improved considerably. We are also working to link the PARIVESH Portal with the mining plan portal and through one portal now everything will be monitored,” said Jain.

He further stated that as compared to other sectors, coal is a good sector and has good profitability. Imported coal can never compete with domestic coal prices.

The next rounds of stakeholder consultations will be organized by the Ministry of Coal with FICCI as Industry Partner on 24 July and 3 August to address queries of the bidders during the ongoing bid process of 41 coal blocks.

The industry has given a tremendous response to the auction process of the coal blocks, added M Nagaraju, Joint Secretary & Nominated Authority, Ministry of Coal.

Measures have been taken to revamp the bid conditions and the process has been made liberal and progressive.

“We are making the process of owning and operating a coal mine simpler and transparent. We have set up a Project Management Unit (PMU) to help us operate coal mines,” informed Nagaraju.

“We believe that the involvement of the private sector will increase production and make India self-sufficient in meeting its internal coal requirements,” said Dilip Chenoy, Secretary-General, FICCI said,

“We are excited with the prospect of the opening up of the coal sector,” he added.

The webinar was also attended by senior officials from the Coal Ministry Joint Secretary Bhabani Prasad Pati and Shekhar Saran, CMD, CMPDIL and representatives from SBI Caps. #coal #opec #iea #energy #electricity #petroleum #gas /fiinews.com

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