PM Modi is pushing coal, mining reforms with eyes on jobs, investment

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday demanded and ministers launch the next wave of reforms for attracting big-ticket investments, domestic mineral processing and the replacement of imported thermal coal along with inventory of domestic output for developing self-reliance in these areas.

A government statement said the PM had asked the top brass from both ministers to change the structure for the auctioning mines and put in place good institutional arrangements to ensure greater participation from the private sector in exploration and mining.

The PM's stress on moving towards self-reliance and investment is behind the government drawing up a plan to start economic activities and generate jobs when the country comes out of anti-coronavirus lockdown.

There has been discussion of auctioning additional blocks to attract fresh investment and inducting technologies to reduce the cost of mining and transportation. Asking the mines ministry to prepare a plan of action for benchmarking operations to international standards, the PM advised on the use of modern technologies for efficient mining. He also ordered that delays in obtaining clearances should be reduced and cooperation with the states should be established to facilitate an increase in private investments.

We also discussed ways to make the public sector more competitive as well as broader community development activities through discussions as well. Consider also the use of sea routes for domestic supplies.

Other areas identified for further reforms include the efficient and environmentally sound first mile connectivity for coal transport from mines to rail slides, automatic loading of wagons, coal gasification and removal as well as coal bed methane exploration.