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Coal India Set to Lose Monopoly as Govt Allows Commercial Mining by Private Firms

Announcing the decision taken by the CCEA, Coal and Railways Minister Piyush Goyal said the reform is expected to bring efficiency in the coal sector by moving from an era of monopoly to competition.

PTI

Updated:February 20, 2018, 4:19 PM IST
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Coal India Set to Lose Monopoly as Govt Allows Commercial Mining by Private Firms
Representative Image. (Image: Reuters)

New Delhi: The government has approved opening up of coal mining to the private sector for commercial use, a major reform in the sector since its nationalisation in 1973.

Announcing the decision taken by the CCEA, Coal and Railways Minister Piyush Goyal said the reform is expected to bring efficiency in the coal sector by moving from an era of monopoly to competition.

The eased rules come as the government looks to boost power output. Coal India currently produces more than 80 per cent of India’s coal, but it has failed to meet targets, sources said.

“It will increase competitiveness and allow the best possible technology into the sector. The higher investment will create direct and indirect employment in coal bearing areas, especially in the mining sector and will have an impact on economic development of these regions,” he said.

While coal mines were till now auctioned for captive power generation, they will now be sold in an e-auction to private domestic and global miners.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Goyal said has approved the methodology for auction of coal mines / blocks for sale of coal under the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, 2015 and the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957.

“The opening up of commercial coal mining for private sector is the most ambitious coal sector reform since the nationalisation of this sector in 1973,” the minister said. India is said have coal reserves of up to 300 billion tonnes.

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