Today Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India will turn the COVID-19 crisis into an opportunity and emphasized on the coal sector and its infrastructure. He announced a two-stage auction process to allocate coal blocks for commercial mining. The auction process for 41 coal mines will aim to revive the coal sector. PM Modi termed it as a step in the right direction to make India self-reliant.
The PM said the move will open the sector to private players and reduce its dependence on imports. “We are not just launching the auction for commercial coal-mining today, but bringing the coal sector out of decades of lockdown,” Prime Minister Modi said while addressing the launch through video conferencing.
The Prime Minister said mining is a key source of input for many basic industries such as aluminium, power and steel. He highlighted the issue that India despite being the world’s fourth largest coal reserve and second largest producer, doesn’t export coal. India is the world’s second largest coal importer.
The rollout of commercial coal mining may boost private sector participation which will in turn lead to higher production and enhance competition. “Allowing private sector in commercial coal mining is unlocking resources of a nation with the world’s fourth-largest reserves,” PM Modi said.
The PM further says the new decision will help many people in the area to get jobs near their home which will stop them from being migrant workers. Besides that he mentioned the government will also take care of the environment and will invest more on infrastructure.
Over the next 5-7 years, the auctioning of 41 coal mines is expected to garner Rs 33,000 crore of capital investment in the country. The process is likely to contribute Rs 20,000 crore in revenues annually to state governments, he said.
The recently announced coal project is a part of Atma Nirbhar Bharat monetary and fiscal measures worth Rs 21 lakh crore which is equivalent to 10 percent of GDP.
As per the government, it will 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.