In order to increase coal production in the country, experts suggest government to end the monopoly of Coal India (CIL) and its subsidiaries in the sector.
They suggest the government to amend laws to allow more private participation in the space. They want the government to allow foreign and local mining companies to compete for blocks and start production.
Along with private participation, experts want the government to initiate administrative reforms especially streamlining the approval process.
At present approvals from nearly two dozen central and state agencies is required for mining coal. The government must ensure faster environmental clearances. It should also create adequate transport networks to carry the coal from mines to the end-user.
In his recent budget speech, Finance Minister P Chidambaram himself called for the imperative of a PPP model in coal sector.
It may be noted that despite having abundant coal reserves, CIL has consistently failed to meet production and despatch targets, leading to increase in import burden.
Coal India has now admitted that it missed its supply target for the fiscal year 2012-13 by 4.8 million tonne. It also missed its production target of 464.1 million tonne for the year by 11.9 million tonne.