New Delhi | Jagran Business Desk: In order to revive the economy that has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday announced that the Centre will introduce commercial mining in coal sector to end government monopoly 

Sitharaman further said that the central government will introduce competition, transparency and private sector participation in the coal sector through revenue sharing mechanism instead of the regime of fixed rupee per tonne.

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She said this is being done to reduce import of substitutable coal and increase self-reliance in coal production. Also, the government will invest Rs 50,000 crore for building evacuation infrastructure.

"The investment of Rs. 50,000 crores is for the evacuation of enhanced CIL's (Coal India Limited) target of 1 billion tons of coal production by 2023-24 plus coal production from private blocks," Sitharaman said, adding that, "Nearly 50 blocks will be offered for bidding".

Stating that nearly 50 blocks will be offered immediately, Sitharaman said there would be no eligibility conditions apart from upfront payment with a ceiling. Also, against the earlier provision of auction of fully explored coal blocks, now even partially explored blocks could be auctioned. 

Coal gasification and liquefication will be incentivised through rebate in revenue sharing, she said adding coal bed methane (CBM) production would also be encouraged. The Coal Bed Methane (CBM) extraction rights to be auctioned from the CIL's coal mines, she said. 

In the mining sector, Sitharaman said that 500 mining blocks would be offered through an open and transparent auction process. Also, a joint auction of Bauxite and coal mineral blocks will be introduced to enhance the aluminium industry's competitiveness.

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She also informed about the removal of the distinction between captive and non-captive mines to allow the transfer of mining leases and sale of surplus unused minerals, leading to better efficiency in mining and production. "Rationalisation of stamp duty payable at the time of award of mining leases will be done," she said. 



(With agencies Inputs)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma