Coal mining: Why commencement of auction process for ‘commercial mining’ is welcome news

We have come a long way as far as the policy framework concerning coal mining is concerned. From a concession model, we have moved on to granting coal mining blocks pursuant to a competitive bidding process, and from prescribing specific end-use to permitting commercial sale of coal.

This evolution is with a view to: ensure transparency in allocation of natural resources; cater to the country’s ever-increasing coal demand; utilise natural resources at an optimal level; and generate revenues for the government so that the same can be used for infrastructure and overall development.

Needless to mention, the Supreme Court’s judgments in various matters concerning allocation of India’s scarce natural resources have also had a huge bearing on the policy framework concerning auction of coal and mineral blocks.

With India having one of the largest coal reserves in the world, it is concerning that coal supply in the country is inadequate, and the country has to rely extensively on coal imports.

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