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No plan to privatise existing coal mines, says Pralhad Joshi

On being asked in the Lok Sabha if there is any plan for the privatisation of coal mines, Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi has said that there is no plan to privatise existing coal mines
No plan to privatise existing coal mines, says Pralhad Joshi
No plan to privatise existing coal mines, says Pralhad Joshi
  • The government plans to hold auctions for new coal mines, in which both public and private sector can participate, said Joshi
  • Auction of coal mines for sale of coal would create a market place for coal with multiple producers to drive competition and adopt best practices in mining, said the minister

New Delhi: On being asked in the Lok Sabha if there is any plan for the privatisation of coal mines, Minister for Coal Pralhad Joshi has responded in the negative, saying, “There is no plan to privatise existing coal mines.” The question was raised by Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MP Sarmistha Sethi in the Lower House of Parliament on Wednesday. In a written response to the question, the minister said that the government plans to hold auctions for new coal mines, in which both public and private sector can participate. He added that the government has already successfully auctioned 28 coal mines so far.

“However, in the auction of new coal mines, both government and private companies are eligible to participate in their auction of coal mines for sale and/or consumption of coal. (sic) So far, 28 coal mines have been successfully auctioned for sale of coal. Out of these 28 coal mines, 27 coal mines have been auctioned to private companies. Auction process for 88 coal mines is underway,” Joshi told the Lok Sabha.

‘Bringing in private sector will drive competition in coal mining sector’

Endorsing the idea of creating competition in the market, the minister said that bringing private companies into the coal mining sector would drive competition and adoption of best mining practices. “Auction of coal mines for sale of coal would create a market place for coal with multiple producers to drive competition and adopt best practices in mining as well as environment management. Auction of coal mines for sale of coal in a transparent manner is expected to encourage transparent pricing of coal, based on market forces,” said Joshi.

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“Auction for coal blocks for sale of coal would make maximum coal available in the market at the earliest which will also help in meeting the requirement of coal in downstream sectors,” said Joshi.

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