Ministry of Coal (MoC) on Monday launched Single Window Clearance Portal, a unified platform to facilitate the grant and approvals required for starting a coal mine in India. Union Home Minister, Amit Shah, launched the portal in presence of Union Minister of Coal & Mines, Pralhad Joshi, in an event organized in New Delhi to execute agreements with successful bidders of India’s first-ever commercial mining auctions.
Prahlad Joshi announced that the next tranche of commercial mines auction would be launched in January 2021. "We have reformed the coal, and now coal will transform the nation.”
"Coal sector has witnessed massive transformation under the dynamic and decisive leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Single Window Clearance Portal is in the spirit of Minimum Government and Maximum Governance. It would be a milestone for Ease of Doing Business in the Indian Coal Sector." Prahlad Joshi added.
Presently, about nineteen approval or clearances are required before starting a coal mine in the country. Some of them include approval of Mining Plan and Mine Closure Plan, Grant of Mining Lease, Environment and Forest Clearances, Wild Life Clearance, Clearances related to Safety, Environment, Rehabilitation of project affected families, the welfare of workers etc. These approvals or clearances are granted either by central or state governments. In the absence of a unified platform for grant of clearances/approvals for starting of a coal mine, the project proponents are required to approach different administrative ministries and Government departments separately to apply for the requisite clearances leading to delay in the operationalization of coal mines.
Now, the complete process shall be facilitated through Single Window Clearance Portal, which will map not only the relevant application formats but also process flow for grant of approval or clearances. The Mining Plan module of the portal started on Monday, and the modules related to other clearances will get added in phases.
The Coal Ministry also executed agreements with the nineteen successful bidders of India’s first-ever commercial mining auctions that include Vedanta Ltd, Adani Enterprises Ltd, Jindal Power Ltd, Hindalco Industries Ltd along with other successful bidders. The success of India’s first-ever commercial mining auctions will pave the way for the Atmanirbhar Bharat as it will help reduce India’s coal import by about twenty per cent. SBI Capital Markets Limited, sole Transaction Advisor to Ministry of Coal for the Commercial coal mine auction, had devised the methodology and assisted Ministry in the conduct of the auction.
"I appeal to all states to facilitate the opening of all these mines so that India could make use of its abundant coal resources. It will help our nation become Atmanirbhar in Coal." Prahlad Joshi said.
Notably, States will garner a total revenue of Rs 6,656 crores annually from these successfully auctioned nineteen mines. With fierce competition in the auction, the highest premium remained at 66.75% and the average premium at twenty-seven per cent. These mines are spread in five states - Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Jharkhand and Maharashtra- and have consolidated Peak Rated Capacity (PRC) of fifty-one Million Tonnes Per Annum (MTPA).
Prahlad Joshi also said that based on the experience of various mineral-rich states and stakeholders feedback, the government is also planning to bring structural reforms in the mining sector. These reforms will generate employment opportunities and increase the production of minerals leading to self-reliance.
"I hope the coming reforms will unleash the potential of the mining sector in India" he added.
Several industry-friendly measures which promote ease of doing business in the mining sector will be brought in.