NEW DELHI: The procedure for allocating coal locks for commercial mining is under the government's consideration, Parliament was informed today.
The statement comes a day after the government allowed the states to commercially mine coal and permitted state utilities to sell the fuel to private companies.
"The methodology for allocation of coal mines for commercial mining is under deliberation," Coal and PowerPiyush Goyal said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
"Allocation of coal mines, inter alia, for sale of coal, is permitted under the provisions of Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, 2015, Mines and Minerals (Development &Regulations) Act, 1957 and Coal Mines Nationalisation Act,
1973," the minister said.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi had yesterday approved the allotment of coal blocks to PSUs for sale of the fossil fuel mainly to medium, small and cottage industries, thus putting an end to the Centre's monopoly over mining and sale of coal.
The move is seen as a big-ticket reform in the coal sector.
"Keeping in mind the interest of small and medium enterprises, the government took the decision to allocate coal blocks to state governments and state entities," Coal Secretary Anil Swarup had earlier said.
"... they can in turn mine coal and allocate or sell coal to such entities, thereby removing the end-use stipulation which was mandated for coal block allocation earlier."
The government does not see any impact of this decision on Coal India.
Coal India is the largest domestic provider of the dry fuel and accounts for 80 per cent of domestic production.