Was home minister Amit Shah on hyperbole when he said coal will be the largest contributor to India’s ambition of being a $5 trillion economy? The setting was appropriate. The government was handing out the allotment letters to successful bidders of the country’s first commercial auction of coal mining blocks.
Tellingly, the event was held just months ahead of the elections to West Bengal assembly. The state accounts for 11 per cent of India’s coal reserves. Kolkata is the headquarters of Coal India Limited, with hitherto monopoly on extraction of the fuel in the