Home / News / India /  Centre invites comments on allowing sale of 50% coal from captive blocks

The central government is planning to permit the sale of 50% of coal/lignite produced by captive blocks, the Union ministry of coal said in a statement. The move is aimed at augmenting the production and increasing the availability of dry fuel.

The move will be carried out by incorporating a provision in the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 (MMDR). The statement said that an additional amount will be charged on the merchant sales of the coal/lignite.

The ministry noted that the import of coal has increased on a year-on-year basis. While it was 203.95 million tonne (MT) in 2015-16, it reached 248.54 MT in 2019-20.

"Coal being an important input for various core sector industries, increasing its availability would lead to Atmanirbhar Bharat. Allowing sale of coal from captive mines will help in increase in production of cold and increase coal availability in the market, leading to reduction in import of coal," the ministry said.

It said that it has invited comments from the state governments of coal-bearing states and stakeholders/general public on the said proposals.

The Ministry of Mines has also invited comments of the state governments, among others, on the proposals for additional amendments being considered in the MMDR Act.

"It is further proposed to specify the additional amount payable on such sale in the Act itself instead of leaving it to be specified under the rules framed under the Act in the same manner as will be specified for the other minerals," it said.

Liberalising coal

The government said in May last year that it will open up commercial coal mining, with revenue share arrangement, to boost the fuel's production in the country.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said there will be further reforms in the mineral sector, with no distinction between the captive and non-captive mines that will allow the transfer of mining leases.

The other measures had included promoting coal gas gasification through rebate in revenue share, auctioning 50 new coal and 500 mineral blocks, and an investment of Rs50,000 crore to create transportation infrastructure for evacuating 1 billion tonnes of coal from state run Coal India Ltd’ (CIL) mines.

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