Millennium Post

Centre slashes clearing of coal mining projects from 90 to about 30 days

New Delhi: The government slashed the approval period of clearance for coal mining projects from the existing 90 days to about 30 days. The ministry on Monday mentioned in a communiqué that it has decided to simplify the process of clearance to expedite operationalisation of already allotted coal blocks and encourage prospective investors in future auctions.

Especially, aiming to 'ease of doing business' the ministry also proposed to give online clearances to the projects. The new application system for the entire mining plan approval process is proposed to be made online for application, processing and approval. "This system will ultimately interact with PARIVESH portal of the environment ministry and similar portals of other related ministries and organisations of the central and state governments," the official statement read.

The re-engineering process further includes amendments in relevant provisions of Mineral Concession Rules, 1960 and approval process allows the leaseholder to get the mining plan prepared by Mining Plan Preparing Agency (MPPA) and get it certified by Mining Plan Certifying Agency (MPCA). Following which the mining plan will be submitted to the coal ministry for approval.

The new mechanism will further, improve the quality and reduce the time for detailed scrutiny and will make the document lighter and easier to comprehend.

To ensure the quality of the mining plan, the centre also approved that the accrediting body will accredit agencies consisting of a team of multi-disciplinary background, e.g. scrutiny from geo-mining and techno-administrative angles. Adding, the government will accredit agencies consisting of multi-disciplinary domain experts, who will certify that the mining plan prepared by MPPA, is in line with the prevailing guidelines and is complete in all respects. On certification by the MPCA, another committee in government will consider the mining plan for approval and ministry will dispose application within the stipulated period.

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