India has taken a major decision to fully open the coal and mining sectors for competition, capital, participation and technology : PM

Mumbai: PM launched the auction process of 41 coal blocks for commercial mining through video conference from here today. It was part of the series of announcements made by the Government of India, under the AatmaNirbhar Bharat Abhiyan. The Coal Ministry in association with FICCI launched the process for auction of these coal mines. A two stage electronic auction process is being adopted for allocation of the coal mines.

He said that this crisis has taught India the lesson of becoming  AatmaNirbhar, i.e. Self-Reliant. He said an AatmaNirbhar Bharat means reducing dependency on imports, and saving foreign currency on imports. It entails that India develop resources domestically so that the country does not have to rely on imports. It also means becoming the biggest exporters of the commodities that we now import. He said that this event marks not only the implementation of reforms concerning one Coal Mining Sector but also  marks the beginning of lakhs of employment opportunities for the youth. He said that today we are not only launching the auction of commercial coal mining today but also freeing the coal sector from decades of lockdown.

He stressed the irony that India, with the world’s fourth largest coal reserve and being the second largest producer, is also the second largest coal importer.The Prime Minister said that after these reforms, coal production and the entire coal sector will become self-reliant. Now the market has been opened for coal, so, any sector can buy coal as per their requirements. PM said, these reforms will not only benefit the coal sector but other sectors such as Steel, Aluminium, Fertilizers and Cement as well. It will also help in increasing the power generation.

PM said that reforms in the minerals sector have got strength from coal mining reforms since minerals like iron, bauxite and other minerals are located very close to the coal reserves. He said that the beginning of auction today for commercial coal mining is a win-win situation for all stakeholders Industries. State governments will get more revenue and a huge population of the country will get employment. There will be a positive impact on every sector.

While implementing coal reforms, PM said that it has been ensured that India’s commitment to protect the environment doesn’t get weakened. He added, “Latest technology can be introduced to make gas from coal and the environment will be protected with steps like coal gasification. Coal gas will be used in transport and cooking while Urea and steel will promote manufacturing industries.” The Prime Minister said that the Government has set a target to gasify around 100-million-ton coal by the year 2030 and four projects have been identified for this purpose and around 20 thousand crore rupees will be invested.

The Prime Minister said that the steps taken towards commercial mining will be very helpful to eastern and central India by providing the local population with employment near their homes. He said that the Government has taken a decision to spend 50 thousand crore rupees on creating infrastructure for coal extraction and transportation, which will also create employment opportunities.

The Prime Minister said that this auction is taking place at a time when the economic activity is fast returning to normal. Consumption and demand are fast attaining the pre – Covid-19 levels. He listed the sectors where the demand was fast attaining pre-COVID 19 levels such as power consumption, demand for petroleum products, E way bills, Toll collection, Railway freight traffic, digital retail transactions.