The rationale for the amendment is that only small and medium sector consumers, having requirement less than 4200 tonnes per annum were entitled to take coal through SNA, large units having requirement of less than 4200 tonnes per annum were not recommended for coal by the District Industries Centre (DIC). Moreover, the limit of requirement of less than 4200 tonnes per annum needed to be revised as small units might have expanded over a period of time.
Union Ministry of Coal has announced increasing the annual cap of coal from 4200 tonnes per annum for sale through State Nominated Agencies* (SNA)* to 10,000 tonnes per annum. Ministry of Coal has issued an order amending the New Coal Distribution Policy (NCDP), 2007 to facilitate this increase in annual cap.
“One solution to increase usage of domestic coal in the private sector could be if the best of mines with high quality coal and lower ash content is further washed and offered….it can be brought to quality levels that can be burnt in existing boilers designed for clean and imported coal,” said Anil Sardana, CEO and MD of Tata Power.
Union coal secretary Anil Swarup said the ministry of coal has initiated a detailed exercise where it is working closely with the public and private industry and studying every single coal based plant in the country that is using imported coal.
E-office is a digital workplace to ensure accountability and transparency. The e-office involves creation of an online version of files, which are signed with digital signature and moved to next officer online itself.
In line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of a ‘digital India’, the Ministry of Coal under Cabinet Minister Piyush Goyal will completely shift over to e-office from November 1, a move that will speed up decision making and ensure transparency. Another ministry under Goyal–the Ministry of Power is also in the process to become a digital workplace.
With no specified end usage, all industries like steel, cement, small and medium scale units can participate in this auction process, likely to be announced anytime soon and may happen as early as this month.
The move is essentially aimed at utilising the surplus coal lying with CIL on the back of increased production.
The first of its kind auction by state-owned Coal India Ltd (CIL), where under a one year contract coal can be bought by any user, as this auction will not be linked to any specified end use requirement. With no specified end usage, all industries like steel, cement, small and medium scale units can participate in this auction process, likely to be announced anytime soon and may happen as early as this month.
The MoU will also help in improving the rehabilitation and reclamation of the mined out areas. This arrangement would also help CIL in proper compliance and monitoring of the conditions that are laid down by the MoEF & CC while according environment and forest clearances.
Environmental issues have often come in the way of timely completion of coal mining projects and have even delayed them in the past. In order to tide over these issues, state-owned Coal India Limited (CIL) and Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE) have signed a MoU for effectively monitoring of environment related issues in the coal mining projects.
Cutting down on India’s coal imports thereby savings billions of dollars of forex outgo every year, state-owned Coal India has sufficiently ramped up coal production and is currently sitting in a surplus state. Most thermal power plants in India have atleast a 20-25 days of coal surplus from a situation of coal shortages or critical coal stocks at power plants.
The government will soon do the first auction of a one year contract on coal which will not be linked to any end use requirement. This according to union minister for power, coal, RE and mines, Piyush Goyal will be the government’s first step towards commercial availability of coal.
The total value of mineral production (excluding atomic & minor minerals) in the country during June 2016 was Rs 18344 crore.
The contribution of Coal was the highest at Rs. 7171 crore (39%). Next in the order of importance were: Petroleum (crude) Rs. 5393 crore, Natural gas (utilized) Rs. 2077 crore, Iron ore Rs. 1802 crore, Limestone Rs. 584 crore and Lignite Rs.517 crore. These six minerals together contributed about 96% of the total value of mineral production in June 2016.
Coal Secretary, Anil Swarup spoke to Anupama Airy, Editor of EnergyInfraPost.com and took questions on the coal situation in the country that has changed from that of excessive coal shortages to that of coal surpluses.
“Either you doubt that the process of auction was rigged, which the CAG has not said in this case”. Ïn any audit, it is mandatory to point out what is right and wrong….CAG has not done that… nowhere in its entire observations has the CAG mentioned that any law has been broken, what procedures have not been followed…and nothing of that sort is mentioned in the report.”