COMMERCIAL MINING: PM MODI LAUNCHES AUCTION PROCESS OF COAL BLOCKS FOR COMMERCIAL MINING
On Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi kicked-off the auction process of coal blocks for commercial mining with an aim to achieve self-sufficiency in meeting energy needs and boost industrial development. The auction process is open for domestic as well as global firms under the 100 percent FDI (foreign direct investment) route.
The key points on the auction of 41 coal blocks are:
1. PM Modi said while addressing the launch event through video conferencing that the coronavirus pandemic taught a lesson and the country will use it to cut down on its imports.
2. PM Modi said to make India self-reliant in the energy sector, a major step is being taken today. Those products what we import now, we will be the major exporters of them in the near future
3. PM Modi asked, if India is the fourth largest coal producer in the world, then why can’t we become the largest exporter.
4. This auction process for commercial coal mines is a win-win situation for all, said PM Modi.
5. With the coal auction process, states will earn extra revenue, said PM.
6. PM Modi said we have set a target to gasify around 100 million tonnes of coal by 2030. I’ve been told that four projects have been identified for this and about Rs 20,000 crore will be invested in them.
7. It’s a matter of coal but we have a dream to achieve diamond through the (auction) process, said PM Modi.
8. The commercial mining of these coal blocks is expected to generate approximately Rs 33,000 crore of capital investment in the country over the next five to seven years, a statement from coal ministry mentioned.
9. These blocks will contribute Rs 20,000 crore revenues annually to the state governments, the ministry added.
10. The ministry mentioned that the start of this auction process of coal mines is part of the series of declarations made under the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’.
11. The statement further said that the PM will grace the event by delivering an address during the launch of the auction process outlining his vision for the country to attain ‘Atma nirbharata’ in the mining sector which is the key source of input for many basic industries like aluminum, power, sponge iron, steel, etc.
12. The government said upon achievement of peak rated the capacity of production of 225 million tonnes (MT) that these mines will provide about 15 percent of the country’s projected total coal production in 2025-26.
13. 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 statement.
14. The ministry said with the launch of commercial mining that India has unlocked the coal sector completely with opportunities for investors related to mining, power, and clean coal sectors.
15. The statement further added that the two-stage electronic auction process is being adopted for the allocation of the coal mines. Commercial mining will lead to self-reliance with substitution of imports by captive power plants and independent thermal power plants resulting in the saving of foreign currency.
16. The Centre’s past coal auctions haven’t been a hit, though they were open only for PSUs. An auction conducted last year saw bids for merely 6 of the 27 blocks on offer.
17. Though the center has ended Coal India Limited’s de-facto monopoly, it still accounts for 80 percent of India’s coal production, of which 80 percent is sold to power producers.