“The Cabinet Secretariat has said that the GoM (constituted to obtain a general agreement on opening of coal sector for commercial mining) is not being reconstituted,” a top official in the Coal Ministry said.
The Cabinet Secretariat had conveyed this to the Coal Ministry almost a fortnight back, the official said.
At present, only PSUs are allowed to undertake mining. Private firms are permitted to extract coal for captive use.
The six-member ministerial panel, formed in 2009, consisted of former Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal, Mines Minister Dinsha Patel, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia among others.
Earlier, Coal Minister Jaiswal had said the government, as part of the energy sector reforms, is trying to evolve a consensus on commercial coal mining to promote development of the sector.
Several meetings of the GoM, to consider re-introduction of a bill to amend the existing Act governing coal mining were postponed earlier. The bill to amend the Act to allow private participation has been pending in Parliament for the last 10 years for want of political consensus amid opposition by trade unions.
The private sector is allowed coal mining for meeting their captive requirements in sectors like power, steel, cement etc.
The need to liberalise the sector was also felt in the wake of widening demand-supply gap of the dry-fuel.
According to government estimates, India faced a supply shortage of 161.5 million tonnes of coal in the last financial year.
Note: The Sunday Report for the Paid Members/those who are trading through my brokerage house/those who are in my Profit Sharing Arrangement Scheme, have been placed at: http://sumanspeakspremiumservices.blogspot.in. In case any of them is visiting this blog, then can check for the updates, from time to time. The blog will be continuously updated.
Mahesh Bindal bhai and Roopa Bashrur (Bangalore), I have given you access to this blog; if you are facing any problem accessing it please let me know.