In economic relaxations for the coal mining sector, the coal ministry on Thursday said it has reduced the rate of penal interest on delayed payment of rent, royalty and fee from 24 per cent to 12 per cent. It has also amended the Mineral Concession Rules, 1960, to decriminalise 68 provisions.
“The rate of penal interest on delayed payment of rent, royalty, fee, or other sums due to the Government has been reduced from twenty-four percent (24 per cent) to twelve percent (12 per cent). It is expected that these provisions shall afford the much-required economic relaxations in the coal mining sector," the coal ministry said in a statement.
It added that the government has been taking initiatives for reducing compliances for businesses and citizens. To further promote and boost the ‘Ease of doing business’ policy of the government, the amendment in MCR decriminalised 68 provisions whereas the penalty has been reduced for 10 provisions of MCR, the ministry said.
According to the statement, the Ministry of Coal has amended Mineral Concession Rules, 1960 (MCR) with a view to decriminalise its provisions.
MCR regulates the application and grant of mineral concessions such as reconnaissance permit, prospecting license, and mining lease. These concessions are pre-requisites for development and operationalization of mines entailing several compliances on the part of businesses.
Few months ago, due to low coal availability at the power plants amid high demand during the summer season, various parts of the country faced electricity cuts. Jharkhand, Punjab, Odisha, Bihar, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Delhi and Andhra Pradesh mainly faced the issue.
Peak power shortage had risen swiftly from a single digit of 5.24 gigawatts (GW) to touch a double-digit of 10.77 GW, showing the effects of various factors like low coal stocks at generation plants, heatwave and other issues on the deepening electricity crisis.
In early-May, Delhi’s peak power demand reached 6,194 MW, which is the highest peak power demand ever recorded in the first week of May. In April also, Delhi saw a peak of 6,197 MW, an all-time high for the month of April ever.
Meanwhile, Coal India Ltd (CIL) has said it will reach close to its production target of 306 million tonnes (MT) in the first half of FY23, provided its mining areas are not extremely affected by heavy rains this month. CIL accounts for over 80 per cent of domestic coal output.
“At the current pace of production…the company is hopeful of reaching close to the apportioned H1 target of 306 MT," CIL said. Of the total production target of 700 MT for FY23, the output split is around 44 per cent in the first half and 56 per cent in the second half, the company said in a statement.
Coal India’s production increased by 44.6 million tonnes in just five months and four days of the ongoing fiscal (as of September 4). CIL’s progressive production touched 259.6 MT as on 4 September, compared to 215 MT during the same period date last year, the statement said.
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