The auction of blocks for commercial mining is expected to garner Rs 33,000 crore of capital investment in the country over next five to seven years.
“India will turn this Covid-19 crisis into an opportunity. It has taught India to be self-reliant. India will reduce its dependence on imports. To make India self-reliant in the energy sector, a major step is being taken today,” PM Modi said addressing the event to launch the auction of 41 coal mines for commercial mining on Thursday.
“We are not just launching the auction for commercial coal-mining today, but bringing the coal sector out of decades of lockdown,” he said addressing the launch through video-conferencing.
The Prime Minister also highlighted that India despite having the world’s fourth-largest coal-reserves and being the second-largest producer still does not export coal but is the world’s second-largest coal-importer.
According to a release, the coal ministry, in association with Ficci, is launching the process for auction of 41 coal mines under the provisions of CM (SP) Act and MMDR Act to achieve self-reliance in the coal sector.
It said that the auction process marks the beginning of the opening of the Indian coal sector for commercial mining and it will enable the country to achieve self-sufficiency in meeting its energy needs and boost industrial development.
The commencement of the auction process of coal mines for sale of coal is part of the series of announcements made by the Centre under the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’.
Coal and mines minister Pralhad Joshi, who was also be present during the launch event, said Rs 50,000 crore is being invested in the sector to jack up India’s coal output to 1 billion tonne.
Upon attainment of peak rated capacity of production of 225 million tonnes (MT), the government said, these mines will contribute about 15 per cent of the country’s projected total coal production in 2025-26.
It will also lead to employment generation for more than 2.8 lakh people — direct employment to approximately 70,000 people and indirect employment to approximately 2,10,000 people, as per the government.