Millennium Post

Govt to allot 16 coal mines to PSUs for commercial mining

Taking forward its decision to open up the coal sector for commercial mining, the government will allot 16 blocks to PSUs for carrying out production and sale of the dry fuel.

Of the 16 blocks "earmarked for State Public sector Undertakings for sale of coal", five mines are in Madhya Pradesh, three in Telangana, two blocks each in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Maharashtra, and one each in Odisha and West Bengal, according to an order of Coal Ministry. Of these blocks, eight have been identified for the host states, the remaining are for other than host state, according to the order. For the first time in over 40 years, the government is throwing open the coal sector for commercial mining, which is being undertaken by the central PSU Coal India.

The Cabinet earlier gave its approval for allotting coal mines to central and state PSUs for sale of coal, especially to medium, small and cottage industries, under the provisions of the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, 2015. In January, Coal Secretary Anil Swarup had said that the coal ministry was working towards creating a platform for commercial mining "in the next 3-4 months".

The blocks that have been earmarked for allocation to PSUs include Shankarpur Bhatgaon II Extn and Madanpur South in Chhattisgarh; Patal East and Mednirai in Jharkhand; Dahegaon/Makard hokra- IV and Kosar Dongergaon in Maharashtra; Baitarni West in Odisha.
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