Millennium Post

Govt mops up Rs 4,973 cr in revenue from auctioned coal mines

New Delhi: The government has collected Rs 4,972.738 crore in revenue from auctioned coal blocks since financial year 2014-15, Parliament was informed Monday.

Of the total revenue garnered till October 31, the maximum of Rs 1,280.58 crore was mopped up in 2018-19.

In 2017-18, the revenue stood at Rs 1,115.02 crore while in the preceding fiscal, it was Rs 1,018.117 crore. In 2015-16, the government collected Rs 663.774 crore in revenue while in the preceding year, the figure stood at Rs 241.294 crore, Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi said in a reply to the Rajya Sabha.

Under Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, 2015, 31 mines have been allocated through auction so far, the minister said.

Of the 31 mines, allocation of nine mines has been terminated for various reasons, Joshi said adding that of the remaining 22 mines, 13 have got opening permission and 11 are producing coal.

The 11 mines have produced 32.34 million tonne of coal from 2015-16 till October 31, 2019, the minister said. While four producing mines are in Chhattisgarh, two each are in Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and Maharashtra and one in Jharkhand, the minister said.

Meanwhile, the government has asked Coal India to produce at least 2 mmscmd of coal bed methane gas in the next two to three years, according to an official. The coal ministry has directed the consultancy arm of Coal India (CIL) to be actively involved in coal bed methane (CBM) development in state-run firm's leasehold areas, the official said.

This development assumes significance after the cabinet, last year, relaxed rules for Coal India for extraction of natural gas lying below coal seams in its blocks in a bid to quickly boost production. CBM is a form of natural gas trapped in coal seams underground, which can be extracted by drilling into the seam.

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