Coal India Ltd, the country’s premier coal producer, plans to increase output to 1 billion tons by 2023-24 to meet rising demand, Coal Minister Prahalad Joshi told parliament.
He said in response to a question that coal demand, according to a draft report of Niti Aayog, is expected to remain in the range of 1,192-1,325 million tonnes by 2030.
He said the government had taken the following steps to enhance the production of coal in the country.
- Commercial Auction of coal on revenue share mechanism: Since the launch of auction of coal mines for commercial mining in June 2020, a total of 4 rounds of auction have been conducted in which total 292 coal mines were offered. In 3 rounds, 42 coal mines have been successfully auctioned. Further, in respect of 4th round of auction, bids were opened eaerlier this monght and two or more bids have been received for 5 coal mines and 6 coal mines have fetched single bids.
- Allowed sale of excess coal production: The Ministry of Coal has amended Mineral Concession Rules, 1960 with a view to allowing sale of coal or lignite, on payment of additional amount to the State Government, by the lessee of a captive mine up to 50 percent of the total coal or lignite produced in a financial year, after meeting the requirement of the end use plant linked with the mine. Earlier this year, the Mines and Minerals (Development & Regulation) Act had been amended to this effect. This is applicable for both the private and public sector captive mines. With this amendment, the government has paved the way for releasing of additional coal in the market by greater utilization of mining capacities of captive coal and lignite blocks, which were being only partly utilized owing to limited production of coal for meeting only their captive needs.
- Rolling auction: In order to expedite the process for conducting auction and to carry out more rounds of auction in a year, a mechanism of rolling auctions of coal mines has been planned. Under this mechanism, upon completion of the electronic auction process of a tranche, the next tranche of auction would be launched for following mines:
- Single Window Clearance: The government has launched the single window clearance portal last year for the coal sector to speed up the operationalisation of coal mines. It is an unified platform that facilitates grant of clearances and approvals required for starting a coal mine in India.