With a vision of “Aatmanirbhar Bharat”, the first ever tranche of Commercial Coal Mine Auctions was launched by the Prime Minister in June, 2020. Mineral laws were amended to open up the coal sector,to provide a level-playing field to the public & private sector players and to permit auction of coal mines without any restriction on end use – coal from these mines can be utilized towards own consumption, sale or for any other purpose.
Key features of Commercial Coal Mine Auctions are as under:
a) No restriction on Sale and/or Utilization of Coal.
b) Reduction in upfront amount and bid security amount.
c) No stipulation of technical or financial eligibility criteria to enable wider participation.
d) Permission to relinquish part of the Coal Mine in case of partially explored Coal Mines.
e) Introduction of National Coal Index and National Lignite Index.
f) Migration to % revenue sharing mechanism instead of fixed Rs. /Tonne based auction.
g) Incentives for promoting early coal production and adoption of clean coal technologies.
h) 100% FDI under automatic route.
i) Higher Revenue generation and Employment generation.
j) Development of nearby areas around Coal Mines.
Within a span of less than three years, six tranches of auctions have been concluded successfully and 87 coal mines have been auctioned. These mines are estimated to generate revenue of around Rs. 33,200 Crores and to provide employment to about three lakhs persons.
Cumulative figures across the tranches:
For ease of doing business, the Ministry of Coal has conceptualized a Single Window Clearance System (SWCS) portal. SWCS is the innovative endeavor of the Ministry of coal to create a platform to obtain various clearances for early operationalization of coal mines to ultimately result in the augmentation of coal production in the country through a single gateway. It is proposed to map all the statutory clearances required (covering Central Ministries as well as State Government departments/agencies) for starting of a coal mine. The portal is shall map the relevant application formats as well as process flows for grant of the approval/clearances.
On March 29, 2023, the Ministry of Coal is launching the process for 7th round of auctions for a total of 106 coal blocks. The coal mines on offer are selected considering the varied demands of the investors. The Ministry of Coal is committed to attain self-sufficiency in the area of coal, for economic growth and development of the nation.