Taking the first step towards commercial mining and sale of coal in India, the ministry of coal has decided to allot mines to states that would sell the mined resource to interested industries.
The Centre has identified 16 coal mines with an estimated annual capacity of 40 million tonnes. The mines have been divided for host states and non-host states. This would entail non-mine rich states owning a mine in another state and using it for commercial purposes. This is the first step to open coal mining beyond the monopoly of state-owned Coal India, the sole miner in India for 41 years. The government plans to evolve the mechanism of commercial mining by involving the states and then private miners, said Anil Swarup, secretary in the ministry of coal. This move is likely to benefit mineral-rich states earn surplus revenue. These states were till now getting only royalty from private companies mining coal for captive use.