By opening the door to private players for commercial mining, the coal sector this year witnessed its biggest reform in over four decades.
The issue of India’s reliance on fossil fuels for power generation especially the dirty coal-fired power plants is usually a hot potato that India has to deal with during UN climate change summits.
Coal sector reforms initiated by the Narendra Modi government are beginning to pay. Initiatives to improve coal quality and efficiency in the supply chain have brought down the cost of power from coal-fired plants in spite of revisions in coal prices, central cess and railway freight in the last three years.
India’s vast coal reserves could remain unused in future, thanks to the expected mega shift towards clean energy generation sector, the country’s power, coal, renewable energy and mines minister Piyush Goyal said.
The Modi government is preparing to launch commercial coal mining in India for the first time in over four decades. For the mines to be auctioned, pricing will be left to the companies, Coal Secretary Susheel Kumar tells Debapriya Mondal in an exclusive interview. Edited excerpts..
The government is waiting for the economy to pick up before it can auction coal mines for captive and commercial use to private companies.