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Last Updated : Jan 08, 2020 07:16 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Cabinet approves ordinance for coal mining

"This will have an impact on the growth of ease of doing business and the democratisation of the sector by opening it up to any entity that was willing to invest," said Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi.

The Cabinet on January 8 approved the promulgation of an ordinance for an amendment to the Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation (MMDR) Act.

The move paves the way for the first phase of commercial coal auctions within this financial year.

"This will have an impact on the growth of ease of doing business and the democratisation of the sector by opening it up to any entity that was willing to invest," said Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi.

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The amendment will also allow the entity mining the coal to use it for its operations or for any of its subsidiaries. Joshi also said that the amendment will allow for issuing unexplored prospective cum mining leases, which were available in other sectors.

"The demand of coal is increasing day by day. Though we have the fourth largest coal reserves, India imported 235 million tonnes of coal, of which 100 million tonnes is non-substitutable. It has costed Rs 1.37 lakh crore to exchequer," said Joshi.

Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said that the Cabinet has also approved viability gap funding for Northeast gas grid.

He also said that the Ayurveda Institute in Jamnagar has been given the status of an institute of national importance. “It will subsume other Ayurveda institutes and improve the transmission of Ayurvedic services,” said Javadekar.

The Cabinet has provided a mobility pact with France for the exchange of students, teachers and skilled manpower. In the health sector, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has been given a post-facto approval for measures to improve neo-natal and  maternal mortiality rates, family planning, and better treatment of infectious diseases.

The government has also entered an agreement with the UK to improve the energy efficiency of railway systems.

Speaking on the developments, Sajjan Jindal, Chairman and MD of the JSW Group said, "Huge reform announced by the Government on Commercial mining in Coal. This will go a long way in reducing the Coal Imports which is over $15 Billion/year."

"Continuity of all Forest and Environment clearances for Iron-Ore mines for a period of 2 years is another great reform. This was a long pending reform which will make the Indian Steel industry more aggressive and competitive on a global level," said Jindal.

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First Published on Jan 8, 2020 03:52 pm
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