Coal ministry finalises agenda document for sectoral reforms in coal

India’s coal ministry has finalised an agenda document for the ongoing fiscal which broadly focuses on areas like reforms, transition and sustainability in the coal sector.

This is for the first time that an agenda document for the ensuing year has been brought out in the form of a compilation and provided to all senior functionaries who have been apportioned the responsibility of steering the four broad focus areas through the year with regular monitoring and appraisals.

The agenda document broadly focuses on four areas — coal sector reforms, coal transition and sustainability, institution building and futuristic agenda, the coal ministry said in a statement. This agenda has been designed along with a monitoring and reviewing framework which is to be reviewed frequently by the coal secretary for mid-course directions/ alignments, it said.

The areas covered step up upon the major reforms done in the last few years and also give direction for covering and meeting the existing and the emerging challenges of the coal sector and aligns itself well with the emerging technologies and diversification thrust of the coal sector, the ministry said.

The agenda covers the entire gambit of areas for steering the coal sector into new technologies while focusing on the core competence of ensuring set production targets including the one billion tonnes by 2024.

Coal sector reforms include projects for 2021-22, Jharia Master Plan, regulatory reforms (exploration), coal beneficiation, coking coal strategy and marketing reforms.

At the same time, coal transition and sustainability covers the areas of social aspects of coal transition, monetization of de-coaled land, use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in data mining/drones and sustainability (Net Zero Emissions), it said.

Institution building segment of the above agenda contains reforms in coal controller organisation (CCO), Coal Mines Provident Fund Organisation (CMPFO), upgrading Coal testing lab and staffing quality and training issues, the ministry said. “The futuristic agenda include Coal to Chemical: Syn Gas, Hydrogen Gas, Liquid fuels, Chemicals and fertilizers, CIL – diversify its business and explore prospects in sunrise industries electric charging pods, EVs etc,” it said.

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