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Govt set to create 15 more coal washeries by Oct 2017

The Centre has taken up an initiative to set up 15 additional coal washeries in India by October 2017 to provide quality coal to consumer, said Coal Secretary Anil Swarup. “Coal washeries cannot be done immediately. We are on the way to set up 15 additional coal washeries by October 2017. Ground works were being done. We have talked to the Ministry of Environment and Forest to get all the clearance. We are committed towards washing the coal for maintaining quality check before they were transported,” Swarup said.

He was talking on the sidelines of the 6 th Asian Mining Congress organised here in the city on Wednesday. He also said that though there was a surplus coal production in the country but there was a lack of demand for power. Talking on the issue of supply and demand management of coal, Swarup praised the Uday scheme, the Centre had recently adopted. According to him Uday scheme which was taken up by the Centre for reviving power distribution system can be solution to tackle the surplus production of Coal India which now stands at 40 million tones. 

The Union Cabinet had given its approval to the new scheme moved by the Power Ministry – Ujjal Discom Assurance Yojna or Uday which will provide for the financial turn around and revival of power distribution companies (DISCOMs) and also ensure sustainable permanent solution to the problems.

“Once the financial position of the Discoms improve with the Uday scheme they will draw more power which will lead to higher demand of coal in six months. Uday aims to restructure the consolidated debt, in excess of Rs 4.3 lakh crore debts of state discoms. ” Swarup said. Last year around 212 million tonnes of coal were imported but this year it had gone down by 16 per cent. “We must ensure that the import of coal comes down with the increase in domestic product. This will help government to save money,” he said. When asked about pending coal linkage auction policy Swarup said that it was expected in a month.

Swarup inaugurated the 6 th Asian Mining Congress & Exhibition in presence of Sutirtha Bhattacharya Chairman Coal India Ltd. The event is promoted by the Mining, Geological and Metallurgical Institute of India (MGMI). The theme of the event was “Renaissance of Mining Industry in Asia”. Meanwhile, a total of Rs 1,233 crore has been transferred to the coal bearing states including Jharkhand and Odisha on account of upfront payment for coal blocks that were auctioned and alloted.

“So far, a total of Rs 1,233.22 crore has been transferred to state governments of coal bearing states on account of Upfront Payment,” an official said quoting the latest figures. Also, a sum of Rs 162.46 crore has been transferred to the state governments of coal bearing states viz. Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha and West Bengal on account of monthly payment (up to October, 2015).

The government had last year auctioned 31 coal mines in three tranches and also allotted 42 coal mines to Central or State Government Companies. It is estimated that Rs 3.44 lakh crore of likely revenue to states through coal mines auctions and allotments over 30 years from just the three rounds of auction.
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