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Govt bats for transparent mining policy

Posted on Dec 06, 06:57PM | IBNS

The Indian mining sector will emerge stronger with a better and more transparent mining policy, said Coal Secretary S K Srivastava here on Thursday.

Addressing the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Global Mining Summit 2012 in Kolkata, Srivastava said 81pc of the current energy requirement of the country is met through thermal power based plants. "Of the rest, 15pc is met from hydro sources and 4pc from nuclear sources."

Currently, the government is looking to resolve various issues to increase the proportion of hydro and nuclear based energy in the country's total energy supply besides considering the role to be played by gas, he said.

According to the Union Coal Secretary, the dwindling compound growth rate in the 11th Five Year Plan has been due to several external factors.

However, Srivastava asserted that Coal India Limited (CIL), an Indian state-controlled coal mining company, would surely achieve the target it has set for the 12th Five year Plan.

He observed that private participation in coal mining has helped private players to appreciate the role played by Coal India.

In this context, he added that Coal India, like private players, faces a host of issues such as land acquisition, environmental clearances, etc and the government is fully apprised of the situation and will undertake all necessary steps to address the concerns.

Srivastava highlighted some opportunities, which he said, will attract the private sector in coal mining.

On the Mining Development Order (MDO) approach, the Coal Secretary said Coal India is in touch with the Finance Ministry to improve the bidding document.

The foreign investors can also participate in MDO, he added.

Coal blocks are another "sunshine opportunity" for private investors, said Srivastava.

Srivastava said 30 coal blocks are already operational and another 4 will be operational soon, taking the tally to 34 in the current financial year.

Coal beneficiation will be given importance and private players will play a huge role, the Coal Secretary said.

According to Srivastava, exploration is another domain that holds great opportunity for the private sector. "The targets for exploration have been increased."

In this regard, he said Central Mine Planning and Design Institute Limited (CMPDIL) is not getting enough tenders for outsourcing their projects and some fiscal incentive is necessary to stimulate the domain.

The Coal Secretary said technical as well as human efficiency must be augmented radically to enable Coal India to achieve its target for the 12th Five-Year Plan.

That will create more opportunities for private players, especially foreign investors, to supply technology for advanced coal mining, he said.

Coal India in the recent years has adopted several high technologies including "underground mining".

There is a target of increasing the current 4 lakhs metres coal drilling to 15 lakhs metres, said Srivastava.

V K Arora, Chairman, Mining and Construction Equipment Division, CII, said in India coal plays an overreaching role in the development and economic growth of the country.

However, the sector faces several challenges such as low investment, technological augmentation and proper allocation of coal for sufficient power generation that needs to be addressed, he said.

The two-day international conference 'Global Mining Summit' kick-started on Wednesday alongside the four day 'International Mining and Machinery Exhibition' with a specific focus on exploration, technology, policy frameworks and emerging business opportunities in the Indian mining and coal sectors.

It was organised by the CII in association with the Ministry of Mines and Coal India Ltd.