Mines Ministers Conference: Central government brought key reforms in the coal sector..Mining Ministers Conference concluded in Hyderabad..

National Mines Ministers Conference: The central government has said that many reforms have been brought in with the participation of the states to promote easier trade in the coal sector. The National Mining Ministers Conference held in Hyderabad on September 9 and 10 ended on Saturday. Union Coal Mines and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi inaugurated the conference on Friday. In the meeting on the second day, the key issues related to the coal sector were discussed. The Union Ministry of Coal Mines has said that the National Mining Ministers’ Conference is a step towards promoting sustainable mining in the country by achieving self-sufficiency in the coal sector. Mining Ministers of various states, Principal Secretaries of Mining Department, DGMs and DMGs of Mining from various states along with officials of Ministry of Coal and Ministry of Mines participated in this programme. Reforms in the coal sector, their impact, land acquisition for coal mining, coal logistics, management of coal mines were discussed in this meeting.

Speaking in this meeting, the speakers said that after the cancellation of 204 coal blocks by the Supreme Court in 2014, reforms were introduced for the first time in 2015 and the allocation of coal blocks started in that order. Among these, commercial sales are not allowed and reforms have been brought once again in 2020 by simplifying commercial mining without any restriction on sale and consumption of coal, he said. It is claimed that through these reforms consumers have been allowed to sell 50% of the produce in the open market. He said that recently a policy has been issued to allow one time relaxation for PSUs to surrender coal blocks without assigning bank guarantee. It was informed that the Ministry has approved the Revolving Auction of Coal Blocks to auction the coal blocks on a regular basis. It has been revealed that the interests of the states have been taken into consideration while bringing reforms in the Ministry of Coal. He said that the national coal index will be based on domestic and international market prices. It was decided in this meeting that the support of the states is necessary to get the benefits through these reforms. The Union Ministry of Coal Mines clarified in this meeting that the proceeds from the commercial auction will go to the respective states and the states will be free to formulate the land compensation policy. In this meeting, various reforms proposed by the Ministry of Coal were discussed.

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