The government of India has recently introduced a material policy change as part of its ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’, whereby it seeks to open-up coal mining activities to the private sector. Owing to the drastically increasing gap in demand and supply of coal in India, the government has resolved to end the monopoly enjoyed by Coal India over the years and not only allow, but also incentivise the participation of private players in the industry, to try and domestically meet the country’s coal needs. The government aims to increase transparency, competition and participation of the private sector, under the new regime of coal block auctioning.
What is new?
Although private players were allowed to participate in coal mining even previously, this was limited to captive mining with end-use restrictions. The idea now is to eliminate the line between captive and non-captive mining, to bring about some fluidity in the transfer of leases and sale of surplus unused minerals.