Commercial Coal Mining in India Opened for Private Sector: A Boon or Inutile
At present, private sector firms in India are only allowed to mine coal for its own use (captive mining) in cement, steel, power, and aluminum plants, etc. Coal India Ltd. (CIL) is the sole commercial miner in India with 80% market share and the world’s largest coal producer by production. In a major “reform” in the coal sector since its nationalization in 1973, the government on February 20th, 2018 allowed private companies to mine the fossil fuel for commercial use, ending the monopoly of state-owned CIL. With this latest development, decision-makers expect private players to bring in competition along with private investment, technology adoption, and international best practices. However, with this decision, still there may be some key questions associated with proposed mining approach such as, is land acquisition being easy for private players, whether private players will do rehabilitation and resettlement as per government norms, will the firms be sensitive toward the environmental degradation caused by mining, was this decision needed because CIL was not able to cater current demand of coal. Therefore, in this chapter, the impact of private mining is discussed and presented along with its economic, environmental, and social viability.
KeywordsCaptive coal block Commercial coal mining Coal India Limited
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