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New Delhi, NFAPost: Ministry of Coal Additional Secretary & Nominated Authority M Nagaraju said that this time the government is offering 67 coal blocks and it will be the biggest offer in the country till now.

“Out of the 67 coal blocks, 6 are coking coal blocks, 61 are non-coking coal blocks, 30 are partially explored and 37 are fully explored coal blocks. We are auctioning 36 billion tonnes of reserves by the end of this month and expecting very good response from the industry both on coking and non-coking coal blocks. This will also reduce India’s dependence on imports,” he added.

Addressing the virtual ‘2nd Stakeholders’ Consultation on 2nd Tranche of Auction of Coal Mines for Commercial Mining,’ organised by the Ministry of Coal, jointly with FICCI as the Industry Partner, M Nagaraju said despite the pandemic, the response from the industry so far has been very good.

“It is important for the country and us to ensure that the natural resources available in the country are fully utilised and extracted. Most of the reserves are located in the backward regions of India and the development of these coal blocks will provide these people with good livelihood,” said M Nagaraju.

M Nagaraju also stated that this is the right time for the Ministry to extract the coal available in the country. “We are partnering with the private sector to boost this sector. The whole process is very transparent, and the National Coal Index captures the market prices of coal in the country,” he highlighted.

Emphasising on the steps taken by the government to improve the sector, M Nagaraju said that the government has already setup PMU unit, launched a single window system for approval of mines plan, integration with ‘Parivesh’ portal of MoEF&CC and is strongly monitoring operationalisation of coal mines. “The Government will be standing with the industry in every step,” he noted.

Ministry of Coal Additional Secretary Vinod Kumar Tiwari said that the ministry has made huge efforts to shortlist coal blocks for the auctions and have focussed on ease of approvals and early operationalization as one of the factors.

“The Ministry has also changed the methodology for ensuring greater participation and has offered coal blocks which are ecologically and economically sustainable,” added Vinod Kumar Tiwari.

Highlighting that the most attractive coal blocks are on offer, he mentioned that the investments in coal mines are going to be totally safe and prices of coal will continue to stay attractive due to the huge demand for coal. “This is the best period to make investments and book profits in the next 20-30 years,” added Vinod Kumar Tiwari.

FICCI Secretary General Dilip Chenoy said that the opening up of the coal sector will help in fulfilling the Government’s Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan, and will help several economic sectors, especially power, steel and aluminium.

The stakeholders’ consultation was also attended by Bhabani Prasad Pati, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Coal; Ms Santosh, Deputy Director General, Ministry of Coal; Manoj Kumar, CMD, CMPDIL & WCL; Anandji Prasad, GM, CMPDIL and representatives from SBICAPS.

After the success of the 1st tranche and positive response received from the industry, 19 mines were successfully auctioned in the first round of commercial coal mining auctions. Going forward, the government has invited bids from the eligible bidders to participate in the 2nd tranche of auctions of commercial coal mines.

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