The Indian government has given approval for the entry of the private sector into another avenue of coal mining in India. The Union Cabinet on Wednesday gave clearance to a policy move to utilise land that has been allocated to coal mines that have executed their lives, for the creation of coal and energy infrastructure.
The key decision had been taken in the cabinet to make the private sector eligible to be allocated the de-coaled land on a lease from the government sector coal companies such as Coal India Limited. Other than the large tracts available for these activities in the first tranche, more than 3200 hectares will be made available additionally.
The government had considered and cleared a proposal to grant the lease by land-owning PSUs along with coal companies to the other CPSUs, state governments, as well as private entities to develop the coal infrastructure and execute coal development activities without change in the land ownership.
Coal India Limited is the largest coal mining company in the country. It has been said that the central and state governments were previously on the eligible list.
Furthermore, under the coal-bearing areas (acquisition and development) act of 1957, an opening has been created for the private sector as well.
The decision is taken after the February 2018 Cabinet’s decision to clear the opening for commercial coal mining for the private sector, still considered the most ambitious coal sector reform, since the nationalisation of the coal sector in 1973.