Demise of any CIL employee due to Covid will be treated as accidental death: Pralhad Joshi

New Delhi: Union Minister of Coal and Mines Pralhad Joshi said on Thursday that the death of Coal Indian Limited's (CIL) employees because of Covid will be treated as accidental death and the kins of the employee will get the same financial benefits as they get in the case of accidental death during duty. Around four lakh odd on roll and contractual workers of Coal India will be benefited from this decision. The kins of employees deceased because of COVID-19 so far will also get protected. Joshi was interacting with the media in Ranchi on his one-day visit to Jharkhand.

"Putting their lives in danger, Coal Indians have performed a tremendous job during COVID-19 pandemic. They are relentlessly doing a good job. That's why I proudly call them Coal Warriors. I have announced this benefit just to recognise their invaluable service to the nation," Joshi said.

'Commercial coal mining will fuel development in Jharkhand'

The minister also said that commercial coal mining is going to fuel development in Jharkhand in coming years. Under the commercial auction of nine coal mines in Jharkhand, the state is expected to earn more than Rs 3,200 crore in one year as revenue and almost 50,000 additional employment will be generated for the people of the state. Additionally, Jharkhand’s contribution to DMF will be around Rs 17 crore which can be used for the development of regions around coalfield areas.
“Response to commercial mining auction is very good. Especially in Jharkhand, we are getting 5 to 10 bidders for almost all of the mines put on auction. The state will get benefited from it and it will chart a new chapter of growth in the state," Joshi said.

During his Ranchi visit, Joshi also met with Chief Minister of Jharkhand Hemant Soren and discussed various mining-related issues with him. He also reviewed the performance of coal companies Central Coalfields Limited (CCL), Bharat Coking Coal Limited (BCCL) & Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL) and appreciated the hard work being put by the employees in the last few months in fulfilling the power demands of the nation during the on-going pandemic.

Stressing upon the need for the commencement of commercial coal mining, he said India still meets a fifth of its annual coal requirement through imports. Once commercial mining picks up, imports by independent thermal power plants and captive power plants are likely to be substituted, resulting in savings of around Rs 30,000 crore per year in import bills. Also, it will help in providing direct and indirect employment to more than 3 lakh people.

Highlighting the importance of mining for Jharkhand, Joshi said that mining is the lifeline of Jharkhand and plays a crucial role in its development.

CIL to invest Rs 37,000 crore by 2023-24 in Jharkhand

He said that Jharkhand is the only state in the country to have three coal companies simultaneously excavating coal out of its mineral-rich soil. Coal companies CCL, BCCL & ECL are expected to mine out 742 million tonne (MT) of coal in the next four years, paying revenue of almost Rs 18,889 crores. The state earned almost Rs 4,000 crore every year during the last four years i.e. around Rs 16,000 crore. The holding company of these coal companies, Coal India Limited (CIL), pays about 30 percent of its total royalty to Jharkhand alone while the share of production from Jharkhand is about 20 percent.

The minister also stated that the Union government wants Jharkhand to progress and contribute to the growth of the nation’s economy. The coal companies operating in the state have been working for decades now, excavating coal out of the mineral-rich soil of Jharkhand and paying revenue in return to the state for its development. Annual revenue of Rs 6,564 crore is expected to accrue to the Jharkhand govt from the coal mines allocated under CMSP Act. Additionally, CIL will invest more than Rs 37,000 crore by 2023-24 in Jharkhand to build infrastructure, the minister said.

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