Secretary, Ministry of Coal, Anil Kumar Jain on Tuesday said that his ministry was already in discussion with the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) to reduce the time taken for getting forest clearance.
Addressing ‘Stakeholders Consultation on Addressing Financing Perspective for Auction of Coal Mines for Commercial Mining,’ organized by the industry chamber the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), jointly with the Ministry of Coal, Jain said, “Environment clearance has become much easier now. We are talking to the Ministry of Forest and are hopeful that in the next few months, the time taken to get forest clearance will be reduced.”
He further added that the government is constantly trying to reduce the time frame usually needed to get a coal mine operational.
Jain emphasised that for India to grow and meet the energy demands smooth facilitation needed to be provided to the industry.
“The government works to provide you (industry) with solutions. We don’t intend to only auction the mines but also ensure that the production starts and that we develop a good market for it,” he said.
Assuring the industry of providing all support, Jain said, “We have changed the law, bidding policies and methodology to ensure that the import dependence is reduced. We are going to make sure that the promises made at the time of the bidding be fulfilled. We will be coming out with successive rounds for bidding.”
To further support the industry, Jain said that the Indian Railways had reduced freight charges on long routes. “We are in touch with them to reduce freight charges for short routes as well,” he added.
Joint Secretary & Nominated Authority, Ministry of Coal, M Nagaraju said that coal would continue to play an important role in the energy mix of the country for the next 30 years. Highlighting the role of the private sector, he said that we will meet the needs of the private sector including the evacuation of coal.
“The auction of commercial coal mining will also support the Atmanirbhar Abhiyan of the government in reducing coal imports. We are trying to reduce import dependence on non-coking coal in the next few years. This will also help in saving foreign exchange and provide more employment opportunities,” said Nagaraju.