Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday (16 May) began her fourth tranche of announcements pertaining to the Rs 20 lakh crore economic package under Atmanirbhar Bharat vision.
The Finance Minister said that today’s announcements would be focused on the structural reforms in sectors including the mining sector.
She announced that the government will introduce commercial mining in the Coal sector.
She further said that there is a need to reduce the import of substitutable coal and increase self-reliance on its production.
The government will introduce competition in the coal sector through competition, transparency, and private sector participation in the coal sector, for which revenue sharing mechanism will be introduced instead of regime of fixed rupee per tonne.
Earlier, only the captive consumers with end-use ownership were allowed to bid. However, after the reform, any party will now be able to bid for a coal block and selling it in the open market.
She further said that partially explored coal blocks will also be auctioned now as against the earlier provision of the auction of fully explored blocks.
Besides, private sector participation will also be allowed in the exploration of coal.
The government will also incentivize earlier production through rebate in revenue-share.
The government will also incentivise the gasification/liquefication of coal in a bid to lower the environment impact. This will also help the country in switching to a gas-based economy.
Rs 50,000 crore will be invested by the government in coal sector for the development of infrastructure. This includes Rs 18,000 crore worth of investment in mechanised transfer of coal (conveyor belts) from mines to railway sidings.
Besides, the Coal Bed Methane (CBM) extraction rights will be auctioned from Coal India Limited’s mines. Ease of doing business measures, like mining plan simplification, will also be taken to liberalise the sector.
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