The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) announced that it had approved providing a one-time window to the central and state public sector undertakings (PSUs) to surrender non-operational coal mines without forfeiture of a bank guarantee.
The Ministry of Coal said that the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), chaired by PM Narendra Modi approved the proposal during its meeting.
Many coal mines that the present government companies are not in a position to develop or are disinterested in could be put for sale as per the recent auction policy of the government.
The government firms would be provided three months to surrender the coal mines from the date of publication of the approved surrender policy.
After cancelling the coal block allocations by the Supreme Court (SC) in 2014, to avoid the disruption of coal supplies to thermal power plants, the government allotted many cancelled coal mines to PSUs through an allotment route.
Last year in December, 45 of 73 coal mines allotted to government companies remained non-operational, and the due date of commencement of mining operations in 19 coal mines is already over. The delays were beyond the control of the PSUs. The delays can be due to the court’s law and order issues, the resistance of land-holders against land acquisition, geological surprises in terms of coal availability, etc.
The early operationalisation of coal blocks will provide employment opportunities, boost investment, contribute to the economic development of backward areas or rural areas in the country, reduce litigation and promote ease of doing business, leading to a reduction in the import of coal in India.
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