Coal Import – According to Union Minister of Coal, Mines, and Parliamentary Affairs Shri Pralhad Joshi, coal imports for the power industry will be reduced to 2% by 2025 as domestic coal production has increased significantly. Shri Joshi, speaking at the commencement of the 9th round of commercial coal mine auction here yesterday, praised Coal India Ltd and its subsidiary businesses for their record performance in achieving self-sufficiency in coal production and offtake. The Minister also noted that overall coal production this year is quite likely to exceed one billion tonnes. The coal business in India is consistently contributing to the nation’s energy security, giving a boost to our rapidly rising economy, according to the Minister.
Shri Joshi, highlighting India’s sustainable coal mining operations, stated that the country has emerged as a global leader in reducing emissions. He emphasized that a Rs. 6000 crore incentive had been provided for coal gasification. Coal PSUs have planted 100 million saplings in recent years to improve sustainable mining, according to the Minister.
The 9th round of commercial coal mine auctions features 31 coal mines, comprising 26 under the 9th round and 5 under the 2nd try of the 7th round. The auctioned mines are located in the coal/lignite-producing states of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, and Telangana.
India has a total coal resource of 344.02 billion tonnes and is the world’s second largest coal producer. Over the years, India’s demand for power has steadily increased. Given that coal generates 72% of India’s electricity, it becomes a critical sector for the country’s development.
Commercial coal mining is expected to attract new investments and create jobs, both directly and indirectly. The auction proceeds would be distributed to the coal-producing states of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, and Assam, delivering socioeconomic benefits to the coal-producing states.
Coal mining from the auctioned mines has generated an estimated annual revenue of Rs. 33,343 crore, based on production at the aggregated Peak Rate Capacity level of 220.90 MTPA. Once fully operational, these mines will directly and indirectly employ around three lakh people, and a total investment of more than Rs. 30,000 crore will be made to operationalize these coal mines.
The government established a star grading policy, which went into effect on April 1, 2019, to improve the overall performance and sustainability of coal and lignite mining in the country by increasing mine competitiveness and supporting responsible mining practices. This legislation has considerably improved the performance and sustainability standards in coal and lignite mining, promoting widespread participation. The star ratings vary from Five Star to No Star, and they assess each mine’s achievements in three categories: Underground Mines (UG), Opencast Mines (OC), and Mixed Mines. These seven modules specify a total of 50 evaluation parameters in open cast mines and 47 in underground mines.
Over the last four years (2018-19, 2019-20, 2020-21, and 2021-22), 68 mines qualified for a 5-star grade, scoring more than 91%.
Furthermore, the Ministry of Coal has concluded Special Campaign 3.0 with a 100% success rate in dealing with Public Grievances, PMO References, CMO References, and IMC problems. Among all Ministries/Departments, the Coal Ministry and its CPSEs have taken first place in the ‘Space Freed’ Category. Mining scrap materials have been creatively transformed by coal power plants into spectacular sculptures and diverse artifacts.