Friday, June 24, 2022

Single window clearance portal launched; Joshi says next tranche of commercial coal mine auction this month

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New Delhi: The Ministry of Coal on Monday launched a single window clearance portal, a unified platform that facilitates grant of clearances and approvals required for starting a coal mine in India. The portal has been launched by the Union Home Minister Amit Shah in the presence of Union Minister of Coal & Mines Pralhad Joshi in an event organised in New Delhi to execute agreements with successful bidders of India’s first-ever commercial mining auctions. Joshi announced that the next tranche of commercial mines auction would be launched in January. “We have reformed the coal, and now coal will transform the nation,” Joshi said.

“Coal sector has witnessed massive transformation under the dynamic and decisive leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi Ji. Single Window Clearance Portal is in the spirit of Minimum Government and Maximum Governance. It would be a milestone for Ease of Doing Business in the Indian Coal Sector,” Joshi added.

How will Single Window Clearance Portal aid Ease of Doing Business?

Presently, about 19 major approval or clearances are required to be obtained before starting a coal mine in the country. Some of them include approval of Mining Plan and Mine Closure Plan, Grant of Mining Lease, Environment and Forest Clearances, Wild Life Clearance, Clearances related to Safety, Environment, Rehabilitation of project affected families, the welfare of workers etc. These approvals or clearances are granted either by Central or state governments. In the absence of a unified platform for grant of clearances or approvals for starting of a coal mine, the project proponents are required to approach different administrative ministries and government departments separately to apply for the requisite clearances leading to delay in the operationalisation of coal mines.

Now, the complete process shall be facilitated through the Single Window Clearance Portal, which will map not only the relevant application formats but also process flow for grant of approval or clearances. The mining plan module of the portal was launched on Monday and the modules related to other clearances will be added in phases.

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Commercial Coal Mining: Coal Ministry executes agreements with winners

The Coal Ministry also executed agreements with the 19 successful bidders of India’s first-ever commercial mining auctions that include Vedanta Ltd, Adani Enterprises Ltd, Jindal Power Ltd, Hindalco Industries Limited along with other successful bidders. The success of India’s first-ever commercial mining auctions will pave the way for the Aatmanirbhar Bharat as it will help reduce India’s coal import by about 20 percent. SBI Capital Markets Limited, sole Transaction Advisor to the Ministry of Coal for the commercial coal mine auction, had devised the methodology and assisted Ministry in the conduct of the auction.

“I appeal to all states to facilitate the opening of all these mines so that India could make use of its abundant coal resources. It will help our nation become Aatmanirbhar in Coal,” Joshi said.

States to earn revenue of Rs 6,656 crore annually from commercial coal mining

Notably, states will garner a total revenue of Rs 6,656 crore annually from these successfully auctioned 19 mines. With fierce competition in the auction, the highest premium remained at 66.75 percent and the average premium at 27 percent. The auctioned mines are spread over five states Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Jharkhand and Maharashtra and have consolidated Peak Rated Capacity (PRC) of 51 Million Tonnes Per Annum (MTPA).

Joshi also said that based on the experience of various mineral-rich states and feedback received from the stakeholders, the government will also bring out structural reforms in the mining sector. These reforms will generate huge employment opportunities and increase the production of minerals leading to self-reliance.

"I hope the upcoming reforms will unleash the potential of the mining sector in India," Joshi said.

Several industry-friendly measures that promote ease of doing business in the mining sector will be brought in.

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