The Coal Ministry is likely to come out with the approach paper for formulating a detailed policy on commercial coal mining by March this year.
“We are working on formulating a policy for the success of commercial coal mining. We are in the final stages of preparing the approach paper and we believe it will be out before March 31,” Joint Secretary, Ministry of Coal, Vivek Bharadwaj told PTI here on the sidelines of the ‘Make in India’ Week.
The government had taken an initiative in legislating Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, 2015 and consequently adding a new Section 3A of the Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Act, 1973, along with amending Section 11A of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957, to enable commercial mining of coal.
The Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, 2015 permits private coal mining companies to sell coal in the open market. Earlier, private companies could utilise allocated coal mines only for their own industries.
“Along with the amendments, we also needed to provide a supportive policy environment for commercial mining. Once the approach paper is out, we would give two weeks for the stakeholders to respond and then we would issue the tender documents,” he said.
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The Joint Secretary said the consultations with stakeholders would help in firming up the format for commercial mining in the country and would provide an enabling provision to the private sector. As on date, the government has auctioned 31 coal mines and alloted 43 coal mines to the central and state government companies.