On Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the process of auction of 41 coal mines via video conferencing. It was a part of the various announcements the Central government made under the AatmaNirbhar Bharat Abhiyan. The Indian Coal Ministry associated with FICCI to launch the auction process of these coal blocks. A 2-stage electronic auction process is opted to allocate the coal mines.
On the launch yesterday, PM Modi said that India would overcome the COVID-19 pandemic & turn this crisis into an opportunity. He added that this crisis taught India the lesson of becoming AatmaNirbhar (self-reliant). He further said that a self-reliant India comprises less dependency on imports, saving foreign currency on imports, developing resources domestically & becoming the largest exporters of the commodities that our country currently imports.
For realizing this dream, PM Modi said that every sector, product & service should be kept in mind and worked upon to make India self-reliant in a specific area. He said that this big step would make the country self-reliant in the energy sector.
He added that it not only implements reforms regarding the Coal Mining Sector but also is the beginning of lakhs of employment opportunities for the youth. The PM said that this move frees the coal sector from decades of lockdown.
Moreover, PM Modi emphasized that India is the world’s 4th-largest coal reserve, the 2nd-largest producer & also the 2nd-largest coal importer. He said this situation lasted for decades & the coal sector remained entangled in the mesh of Captive and Non-Captive mines. He added that the sector remained excluded from competition & transparency was a huge issue. Due to this, the coal sector didn’t have investment & its efficiency was also uncertain.
Furthermore, he said that the coal linkage was done in 2014 to offer stimulus to the coal sector. He said that the country took a major decision to open the coal-mining sector for increased competition, capital, participation & technology. He added that care is taken to ensure that the new players in the private mining sector don’t encounter financial problems.
The PM further said that these reforms would make coal production and the entire coal sector self-reliant. As the market is now opened for coal, any sector can buy coal, based on their requirements. He said that these reforms would not only benefit the coal sector but other sectors also, like Steel, Aluminium, Fertilizers & Cement.
Besides, he said that the reforms in the minerals sector got a boost from coal mining reforms as minerals like iron & bauxite are located near the coal reserves. He added that the auction commencement for commercial coal mining is a win-win situation for all stakeholders & industries. The state governments would get more revenue & India’s large population would get employment.
He said that while the implementation of coal reforms are necessary, it must be ensured that the environment doesn’t get affected. He added,
“Latest technology can be introduced to make gas from coal and the environment will be protected with steps like coal gasification. Coal gas will be used in transport and cooking while Urea and steel will promote manufacturing industries.”
Also, the PM stated that the government set a goal of gasifying nearly 100-million-ton coal by 2030 & four projects are identified for this purpose. About 20 thousand crore rupees would be invested in it.
He also added that these coal sector reforms would make eastern & central India the pillars of development. He said that these areas have several Aspirational Districts & haven’t been able to reach the desired level of progress & prosperity.
Further, he said that the government decided to spend 50 thousand crore rupees on creating an infrastructure for coal extraction & transportation, which would also create employment opportunities.
Additionally, the PM said that reforms & investment in the coal sector would play a major role in easing the tribals’ lives. He added that the extra revenue generated through coal production would be used for public welfare schemes in this region. He said that states would continue to receive help from the District Mineral Fund, which would be majorly utilized in the development of essential facilities in the neighboring areas.
PM Modi further said that this auction occurred when economic activity is coming back to normal. Also, he said that consumption & demand are reaching pre-Coronavirus levels.
Watch it here:
Launching the auction of Coal Mines for Commerical Mining. https://t.co/JkgOH4VMcC
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 18, 2020
Besides, he reviewed the situation due to the oil well blow out & fire in Assam and added that Central & state governments are ensuring relief & rehabilitation to the affected. He tweeted on his official handle-
“Reviewed the situation in the wake of the Baghjan fire tragedy in Assam. Centre and state government are working to ensure proper relief and rehabilitation to those affected.”
Reviewed the situation in the wake of the Baghjan fire tragedy in Assam. Centre and state government are working to ensure proper relief and rehabilitation to those affected. https://t.co/X0Cz6bVUDS
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 18, 2020
Featured image credits: Deccan Herald