Prime Minister Narendra Modi (File photo: ANI)
NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday kicked-off the auction process of coal blocks for commercial mining with an aim to achieve self-sufficiency in meeting energy needs and boost industrial development. The process is open for domestic as well as global firms under the 100 per cent FDI (foreign direct investment) route.
Here are the key points on the auction of 41 coal blocks:
* Addressing the launch event through video conferencing, PM Modi said that the coronavirus pandemic taught a lesson and the country will use it to cut down on its imports.
* To make India self-reliant in the energy sector, a major step is being taken today. Those products what we import now, we will be the major exporters of them in the near future: PM Modi
* If India is the fourth largest coal producer in the world, then why can’t we become the largest exporter, PM Modi asked.
* This auction process for commercial coal mines is a win-win situation for all: PM Modi
* With the coal auction process, states will earn extra revenue: PM
* We have set a target to gasify around 100 million tonnes of coal by 2030. I’ve been told that four projects have been identified for this and about Rs 20,000 crore will be invested in them: PM Modi
* It’s a matter of coal but we have a dream to achieve diamond through the (auction) process: PM Modi
* The commercial mining of these coal blocks is expected to generate approximately Rs 33,000 crore of capital investment in the country over the next five to seven years, a statement from coal ministry mentioned.
* These blocks will contribute Rs 20,000 crore revenues annually to the state governments, the ministry added.
* The ministry said that the commencement of this auction process of coal mines is part of the series of announcements made under the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’.
* “Prime Minister will grace the occasion by delivering an address during the launch of the auction process outlining his vision for the country to achieve ‘atmanirbharata’ in mining sector which is the key source of input for many basic industries like power, steel, aluminium, sponge iron etc,” the statement further said.
* Upon attainment of peak rated capacity of production of 225 million tonnes (MT), the government said, these mines will contribute about 15 per cent of the country’s projected total coal production in 2025-26.
* It will also lead to employment generation for more than 2.8 lakh people — direct employment to approximately 70,000 people and indirect employment to approximately 2,10,000 people, as per the statement.
* With the launch of commercial mining, the ministry said India has unlocked the coal sector fully with opportunities for investors related to mining, power and clean coal sectors.
* A two-stage electronic auction process is being adopted for allocation of the coal mines, the statement said, adding that commercial mining will “result in self-reliance with substitution of imports by independent thermal power plants and captive power plants resulting in saving of foreign currency”.
* The Centre’s past coal auctions haven’t been a hit, though they were open only for PSUs. An auction conducted last year saw bids for merely 6 of the 27 blocks on offer.
* Though the centre has ended Coal India Limited’s de-facto monopoly, it still accounts for 80 per cent of India’s coal production, of which 80 per cent is sold to power producers.
(With agency inputs)
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