The government is reportedly contemplating the introduction of an incentive scheme similar to the production linked incentive (PLI) for heavy earth moving machinery (HEMM) and underground mining equipment.
A high-level committee has recommended a five-year incentive scheme to boost domestic manufacturing of this equipment which is largely being imported, Livemint reported.
The high-level interdisciplinary committee, led by the technical director of Coal India Ltd (CIL), was established to provide suggestions for enhancing the local production of HEMM and underground mining equipment, including high wall miners, standard and low-capacity miners, and related supplementary equipment.
The committee has now submitted its final report to the Coal Ministry.
The committee has further suggested that domestic coal and mineral mining companies should include a 'make in India' clause in their tenders for procuring mining equipment.
The equipment used should be standardised to enhance domestic production for captive, commercial mine operators, mine developers and operators, outsourcing contractors, and departmental equipment.
The government plans to boost heavy mining and construction equipment manufacturing with a new PLI scheme worth Rs 12,000 crore, Mint had reported earlier. The scheme is aimed at decreasing reliance on imports and generate employment in a sector that plays a crucial role in fast-paced infrastructure development.
“With a strong commitment to reducing India’s dependence on imports and promoting domestic production, the ministry of coal is taking consistent steps to foster indigenous manufacturing capabilities within the coal mining sector. These efforts are closely aligned with the core principles of Atmanirbhar Bharat, driving the Make in India campaign," a Coal Ministry statement said.
The committee, made up of representatives from the Ministry of Heavy Industries, Ministry of Railways, Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL), NLC India Ltd, NTPC, West Bengal Power Development Corporation Limited (WBPDCL), BEML, Caterpillar, Tata Hitachi, GAINWELL, industry associations, and various stakeholders, anticipates a significant demand for equipment in the country over the next decade for both Opencast and Underground mines.
This projection is based on the forecast that coal will continue to be the primary energy source in the country even after 2030.
At present, Coal India Limited (CIL) imports high-capacity machinery such as Electric Rope Shovels, Hydraulic Shovels, Dumpers, Crawler Dozers, Drills, Motor Graders, and Front-End Loaders Wheel Dozer, with a total value of Rs 3500 crore, incurring additional expenditure of Rs 1,000 crore in customs duties.
In an effort to reduce these imports and boost local manufacturing, CIL has developed a strategic plan to progressively eliminate imports over the next six years.
The goal of this strategy is to promote and cultivate the production of equipment within the country. It's worth noting that high-capacity machines are already being sourced from local manufacturers.
CIL has begun the procurement process for HEMM and sophisticated continuous miners which offer remote supervision and real-time position tracking, enhancing efficiency and safety. Efforts are in progress to boost local production of HEMM.
Domestic manufacturers have been identified for the production of mining equipment for both Opencast and Underground mining along with upgradation of technology and capacity.
CIL has also incorporated Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) Load Haul Dump (LHD) units into their operations, resulting in enhanced ventilation and cost efficiency.
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