Consensus on commercial mining of coal to be evolved

April 28th, 2011 - 5:58 pm ICT by ANI  

New Delhi, Apr 28 (ANI): Union Coal Minister Shriprakash Jaiswal today said that as a part of energy sector reforms, the Government is trying to evolve a consensus on commercial mining of coal.

Addressing “Energizing India 2011″ summit, here, Jaiswal said: “This will not only promote development of coal sector but also competition and better pricing of the coal in the country.

He said the captive mining policy for augmenting domestic production has not yielded desired results for various reasons. Ideally, coal sector should have been opened for commercial mining in line with the energy sector reforms that followed in the early nineties. Now the legislation in this regard introduced by the Government is pending in Parliament, he said.

Highlighting the importance of the coal in meeting energy requirements on sustainable basis, Jaisswal said that concerted efforts are being made to augment domestic production both from public sector coal companies and captive blocks through appropriate policy measures.

“However, there are certain constraints in the way of augmenting production which include obtaining forestry and environmental clearances for coal projects in time, rehabilitation and resettlement of the affected persons, strengthening coal evacuation facilities and development of port infrastructure facilities,” he added.

Reiterating the need of increasing coal production on priority basis, Jaiswal said that availability of coal in terminal year of the XI Plan 2011-12 will be only about 554 million tonnes, mainly on account of non-receipt of statutory clearances in time and pending R&R issues etc. With the projected demand of about 696 million tonne in 2011-12 there lies a gap of about 142 million tonnes.

Referring to the Government’s initiatives to bridge the demand and supply gap, Jaiswal said, the Government has been encouraging acquisition of coal properties abroad and a number of companies both in private and public sector have achieved some success in this regard.

“However, as long as we are not in a position to mine and import some significant quantities of coal from these assets, the consumers have to face the related challenges in securing the supplies particularly in view of the price volatility of coal in international markets,” he added. (ANI)

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