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States may get coal blocks for commercial mining

States may get coal blocks for commercial mining
The government on Tuesday said it is contemplating to rope in states for commercial mining of coal in a bid to fulfill the requirements of small-scale sectors.

“We are working <g data-gr-id="30">parallely</g> in terms of seeing whether the states could be given blocks for commercial mining...We are working towards enabling states to do commercial mining so as to fulfill the requirement of small scale sectors,” Coal Secretary Anil Swarup told reporters here. The Coal Ministry on Tuesday began industry stakeholder consultations in order to prepare a roadmap for 
beginning commercial mining of coal.

“<g data-gr-id="44">Yes</g> this is the first ever step. The initial paper has been discussed today and they will now finalise the paper on the basis of it. And there will be perhaps more intensive dialogue in terms of the nitty gritty of doing it. We don’t want to jump anything without understanding the various dimensions of it,” the secretary said. Stating that the first job has been done, he said that a very good paper has been prepared by the industry body Ficci. 

“I think a lovely paper has been prepared...by Ficci and now with the suggestions that have come today I think they will now improve upon this paper and then we will go into the nitty gritty of how to go about doing it,” he said. He added that various issues including whether commercial miners will be asked to sign a revenue-sharing contract or a profit-sharing contract needs to be addressed.

However, the secretary refused to give any timeline on as to when will he commercial <g data-gr-id="29">ming</g> of coal blocks would begin. “We have <g data-gr-id="36">paper</g> it get examined at the government level and then we can see what can be adopted and what cannot be. There are a number of considerations that have to be taken into account..this is just a beginning,” he said. Swarup further said that Coal India will continue to play a very prominent role to supply dry fuel at affordable prices so that power tariffs do not go up.

The government had earlier promulgated an ordinance for auctioning the 204 coal blocks whose allocation was cancelled by the Supreme Court in September last year. A provision was later added to allow commercial mining by private companies. The government had also said that it is likely to auction coal blocks for commercial mining this financial year and is working out details for the same. 

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