Union Minister of Coal, Mines and Parliamentary Affairs Shri Pralhad Joshi said that by 2025 coal import for power sector will come down to 2 per cent since domestic coal production has increased substantially. Addressing the launch function of the 9th round of commercial coal mine auction here yesterday, Shri Joshi complemented Coal India Ltd and subsidiary companies for the record performance to attain self-sufficiency in coal production and off take. The Minister further stated that this year overall coal production is very likely to cross one billion tonne. India’s coal sector is constantly contributing to energy security of the nation and thereby further fillip to our fast growing economy, the Minister added.
Highlighting the sustainable coal mining practices that India is following, Shri Joshi said that the country has emerged as a global leader in containing emissions. He pointed out that Rs. 6000 crore incentive has been given for coal gasification. In order to further strengthen sustainable mining, coal PSUs have planted 100 million saplings in recent years, the Minister said.
A total of 31 coal mines, including 26 under the 9th round and 5 under the 2nd attempt of the 7th round, are offered in the 9th round of commercial coal mine auctions. The mines being auctioned are spread across coal/lignite-bearing states of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, and Telangana.
India has a total coal reserve of 344.02 billion tonnes and is the second largest producer of coal in the world. India has seen a consistent increase in the demand for electricity over the years. Given that 72% of the electricity in India is generated from coal, it becomes a very strategic sector for the nation’s development.
Commercial coal mining is expected to bring new investments to the country and generate employment, both direct and indirect. The entire revenue from the auctions would be allocated to the coal-bearing State Governments, bringing socio-economic benefits to the coal-bearing States of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, and Assam.
Coal mining from the auctioned mines till date is estimated to bring an annual revenue of Rs. ~33,343 crore, considering production at aggregated Peak Rate Capacity level of ~220.90 MTPA. Once these mines are fully operational, they will generate employment for around three lakh persons directly and indirectly, and the total investment of more than Rs. 30,000 crore will be expended to operationalize these coal mines.
The Minister also gave away Star Rating Awards to exceptionally performing coal and lignite mines and distributed certificates to coal CPSEs in different categories as part of Special Campaign 3.0, aimed at institutionalizing cleanliness and minimizing pendency.
Addressing the function, Shri Amrit Lal Meena, Secretary, Ministry of Coal, underscored the paramount importance of coal production, extending congratulations to coal mines that achieved five-star ratings. He stated that this recognition would act as a catalyst for outstanding performance across the coal and lignite mining sector.
Additional Secretary & Nominated Authority Shri M Nagaraju highlighted various reforms undertaken by the ministry to ensure sustainable coal production.
The Star rating policy was approved by the Government with effect from 01.04.2019, to elevate the overall performance and sustainability of coal and lignite mining in the country by driving competitiveness among mines and promoting responsible mining practices. This policy has significantly raised performance and sustainability standards in coal and lignite mining, encouraging nationwide participation. The star ratings range from Five Star to No Star, evaluating each mine’s achievements holistically in three categories: Underground Mines (UG), Opencast Mine (OC), and Mixed mines. Total 50 evaluation parameters in Open cast Mines and 47 in Underground Mines are specified in these seven modules.
In the last four years (2018-19, 2019-20, 2020-21, 2021-22), a total of 68 mines have qualified for a 5-star rating, scoring more than 91%, with 39 mines ranking 1st, 2nd, & 3rd prize.
Furthermore, the Ministry of Coal has successfully completed special campaign 3.0 by achieving a 100% success rate in addressing Public Grievances, PMO References, CMO References, and IMC matters. Coal Ministry and its CPSEs have secured the top position in the 'Space Freed' Category among all Ministries/Departments. Coal PSUs have creatively repurposed mining scrap materials into stunning sculptures and various artifacts.