Thursday, October 6, 2022

Govt planning online clearances for coal mining projects

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New Delhi: Inching one step closer to fulfilling a long-standing demand from the industry, the Ministry of Coal has proposed to give online clearances to coal mining projects, which will reduce the approval period from the existing 90 days to 30 days. “The ministry of has decided to simplify the process of clearance for coal mining projects. This will not only expedite operationalisation of already allotted coal blocks, but also encourage prospective investors/bidders in future auctions,” an official statement said on Monday.

A re-engineers coal mining and approval plan

The Ministry of Coal has re-engineered the mining plan preparation and approval process. This is likely to slash the approval period substantially from existing 90 days to about 30 days. The re-engineering process includes simplification of guidelines and format for preparation of coal mining plan, amendments in relevant provisions of Mineral Concession Rules, 1960 and approval process.

The proposed simplified guidelines and format not only reduce the mining plan formulation time but also make the document lighter and easier to comprehend. This will further facilitate hosting the soft copy in an accessible data base.

The nitty-gritty

The proposed system of mining plan preparation and approval allows the leasee to get the mining plan prepared by Mining Plan Preparing Agency (MPPA) and get it certified by Mining Plan Certifying Agency (MPCA) and submit the mining plan to Ministry of Coal for approval. This will improve the quality and reduce time fordetailed scrutiny.

To ensure the quality of preparation of mining plan, the government-approved accrediting body will accredit agency consisting of multi-disciplinary domain experts, will certify that the mining plan prepared by MPPA, is in line with the prevailing guidelines and is complete in all respects. On certification by the MPCA, a committee in government will consider the coal mining plan for approval and the government will dispose of the application within the stipulated period.

Application, processing and approval to be granted online

In the next phase to further ease the system, the entire coal mining plan approval process is proposed to be made online for application, processing and approval. This system will ultimately interact with PARIVESH portal of MoEF&CC and similar portals of other related ministries and organisations of the Central and State Governments.

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