New Delhi: Union Minister of Coal Pralhad Joshi has said that by 2025 coal import for power sector will come down to 2 percent since domestic coal production has increased substantially. Currently, the power sector has been importing 4.6 percent of its coal requirement in order to meet the growing power demand. Addressing the launch function of the 9th round of commercial coal mine auction on December 20, Joshi complemented Coal India Ltd and subsidiary companies for the record performance to attain self-sufficiency in coal production and off take.
The minister further stated that this year overall coal production is very likely to cross one billion tonne. India’s coal sector is constantly contributing to energy security of the nation and thereby further fillip to our fast growing economy, the minister added.
Highlighting the sustainable coal mining practices that India is following, Joshi said that the country has emerged as a global leader in containing emissions. He pointed out that Rs 6,000-crore incentive has been given for coal gasification. In order to further strengthen sustainable mining, coal PSUs have planted 100 million saplings in recent years, the minister said.
A total of 31 coal mines, including 26 under the 9th round and five under the 2nd attempt of the 7th round, are offered in the 9th round of commercial coal mine auctions. The mines being auctioned are spread across coal/lignite-bearing states of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, and Telangana.
India has a total coal reserve of 344.02 billion tonnes and is the second largest producer of coal in the world. India has seen a consistent increase in the demand for electricity over the years. Given that 72 percent of the electricity in India is generated from coal, it becomes a very strategic sector for the nation’s development.
The minister also gave away Star Rating Awards to exceptionally performing coal and lignite mines and distributed certificates to coal CPSEs in different categories as part of Special Campaign 3.0, aimed at institutionalising cleanliness and minimising pendency.
Addressing the function, Amrit Lal Meena, Secretary, Ministry of Coal, underscored the paramount importance of coal production, extending congratulations to coal mines that achieved five-star ratings. He stated that this recognition would act as a catalyst for outstanding performance across the coal and lignite mining sector.
Additional Secretary & Nominated Authority M Nagaraju highlighted various reforms undertaken by the ministry to ensure sustainable coal production.
The Star rating policy was approved by the government with effect from 01.04.2019, to elevate the overall performance and sustainability of coal and lignite mining in the country by driving competitiveness among mines and promoting responsible mining practices. The star ratings range from Five Star to No Star, evaluating each mine’s achievements holistically in three categories: Underground Mines (UG), Opencast Mine (OC), and Mixed mines. Total 50 evaluation parameters in Open cast Mines and 47 in Underground Mines are specified in these seven modules.
In the last four years (2018-19, 2019-20, 2020-21, 2021-22), a total of 68 mines have qualified for a 5-star rating, scoring more than 91 percent, with 39 mines ranking 1st, 2nd, & 3rd prize.