The Weekend Leader - Launch of next tranche of commercial coal mines later this month: coal minister

Launch of next tranche of commercial coal mines later this month: coal minister

New Delhi


After successfully completing the country's first-ever auction of commercial coal mines last year, the government is set to begin the process with new mines later this month.

Union coal and mines minister Pralhad Joshi announced on Monday that the next tranche of commercial mines auction would be launched as early as in January 2021.

"We have reformed the coal, and now coal will transform the nation," Joshi said.

In the first round of commercial coal block auctions a total of 19 mines were put to bid. The coal ministry also executed agreements with the 19 successful bidders of auctions on Monday. Some of the winning bidders include Vedanta Ltd, Adani Enterprises Ltd, Jindal Power Ltd, Hindalco Industries Ltd.

As part of the reform initiative in the coal sector, the government is also invoking provisions that bring about ease of doing business. As part of this initiative the coal ministry on Monday also launched Single Window Clearance Portal, a unified platform that facilitates grant of clearances and approvals required for starting a coal mine in India.

The portal was launched by Home Minister Amit Shah in an event organized in New Delhi to execute agreements with successful bidders of India's first ever commercial coal mine auctions.

Speaking on the occasion, Shah said that the coal sector has crossed an important milestone towards fulfilling the vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat. He said that the coal sector would play a key role in achieving the target of a 5 trillion dollar economy.

He said that for a long time the need was felt to remove the bottlenecks in the coal sector and bring transparency in it, which has been fulfilled during the Modi government.

The 19 successful bidders, who have been allotted mines, will give the states an estimated revenue of about Rs 6,500 crore per year and will also create more than 70,000 jobs.

At present, about 19 major approval or clearances are required to be obtained before starting a coal mine in the country. Some of them include approval of Mining Plan and Mine Closure Plan, Grant of Mining Lease, Environment and Forest Clearances, Wild Life Clearance, Clearances related to Safety, Environment, Rehabilitation of project affected families, welfare of workers etc. These approvals or clearances are granted either by central or state governments.

In the absence of a unified platform for grant of clearances/approvals for starting of a coal mine, the project proponents are required to approach different administrative ministries and Government departments separately to apply for the requisite clearances leading to delay in operationalization of coal mines.

Now, the complete process shall be facilitated through Single Window Clearance Portal, which will map not only the relevant application formats, but also process flow for grant of approval or clearances.

The Mining Plan module of the portal was launched on Monday and the modules related to other clearances will be added in phases. - IANS

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