The Central government has allowed private firms to operate mines by abolishing the government monopoly in the coal sector. The new system was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi via video conference on Thursday. Union Coal and Mine Minister Prahlad Joshi was praised by the PM for his stewardship.
Inaugurating the auction process, the PM said, “Today, the government has taken a major step in making India self-sufficient in the energy sector. The country’s coal sector had been sidelined for decades and was kept out of competition.”
Transparency is a big challenge in this sector, and the Central government had taken many steps to improve the situation after 2014, he said.
Calling the virus crisis an opportunity, Modi said it had reduced the dependence on imports. “Even though we are the fourth largest producer of coal, we import large quantities of coal. Now, coal production in the country will be increased with private partnership,” he said.
Praising the stewardship of Prahlad Joshi, the PM said, “I would also like to specially congratulate my colleague Union Minister Prahlad Joshi and his team for utilising this lockdown period in search of new ways. Prahlad Joshi can think he is doing some programme but he is doing great work for Atma Nirbhiar Bharat.”
The Coal Minister said, “Coal mining regulations in the country have been relaxed and the miners are being promoted. This will greatly benefit the country’s entrepreneurs. The remaining unused coal in the country will be utilized adequately in the coming days to support the development of the country. This is the biggest step towards Atma Nirbhar Bharat.”