India has Enough Coal
The Indian government has reassured that there is no shortage of coal, the principal source of power/energy in the country.
As per the Inventory of India published by GSI for Coal and Lignite as on 01.04.2021, the total assessed geological coal resource is 352125.97 million tonnes.
The cumulative coal production from 1950 up to 2020-21 is 17,297.94 million tonnes as per Coal Controller, Ministry of Coal, Government of India. As per present rate of demand/consumption of coal there is sufficient resources of coal in India.
Every year CMPDI is adding about 4000-6000 MT of proved resources in the coal inventory of India. There is no threat of coal resources for future coal demand in our country at present rate of extraction / demand.
It is of course true that due to increased demand of power, less power generation by imported coal based power plants and some interruption in supply of coal due to heavy rains, the coal stock at the power plants depleted to 7.2 Million Tonnes (MT) as on 8th October, 2021.
However, subsequently with increased coal supplies, the coal stock has started increasing and has now reached 24.04 MT as on 01.04.2022 with respect to the plants based on domestic coal.
According to Union Minister of Coal, Mines and Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi, during 2021-22, total raw coal production was 777.325 MT(provisional) against 716.08 MT during the same period of the last year. In addition, coal stock at Coal India Limited (CIL) and Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL) pithead as on 01.04.2022 is 60.77 MT and 4.71 MT respectively.
The following action has been taken by Government to further enhance the production and supply of coal in the country:
– Commercial Auction of coal on revenue share mechanism: Auction of commercial mining on Revenue Sharing Mechanism was launched on 18.06.2020 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Under this scheme, a total of 2 tranches have been successfully completed and the third Tranche is currently under process. From these two tranches a total of 28 coal mines have been successfully auctioned for which a Vesting order has been signed for 27 coal mines.
– Rolling auction: In order to expedite the process for conducting auctions and to carry out more rounds of auction in a year, a mechanism of rolling auctions of coal mines has been planned. Under this mechanism, upon completion of the electronic auction process of a tranche, the next tranche of auction would be launched for following mines:
(i) Mines where no bid or only single bid was received in the previous tranche of auction (except for those mines where the Ministry of Coal decides to go for a second attempt of auction).
(ii) New mines, if any, identified by the Ministry of Coal.
(iii) In the current III tranche of commercial auction, a total of 48 coal mines have been rolled over from the II tranche of mines.
– Single Window Clearance: The Union government has already launched Single Window Clearance portal on 11.01.2021 for the coal sector to speed up the operationalisation of coal mines. It is an unified platform that facilitates grant of clearances and approvals required for starting a coal mine in India. Now, the complete process shall be facilitated through Single Window Clearance Portal, which will map not only the relevant application formats, but also process flow for grant of approval or clearances.
– Project Management Unit (PMU): Project Management Unit has been appointed by the Ministry for handholding of coal block allottees for obtaining various approvals / clearances for early operationalisation of coal mines.
Considering the increased demand as projected by the Ministry of Power, Coal India Limited (CIL) has already taken steps to augment the dispatch & build-up stock at power plants end which is as under:
1. CIL has already additionally allocated 11.2 Mill. Tonnes of coal from its high stock mines through RCR mode which is to be lifted from different Goods Shed/Private Washeries to build up stock at the plant end.
2. Railways are regularly being requested to give priority in supply of rakes to the power generators.
3. CIL has already started building stock at its railway sidings to facilitate adequate rake loading for the power sector.
4. In addition to ACQ, coal has been offered under RCR mode on ‘as is where is basis’ to build up stock at Power house end.
5. Additional coal of 5.18 Million tonnes was offered during Round -1 in October’21 through private washery /Good shed sidings. Again, an additional offer of 6 Million tonnes was done in Round 2 offer in December 2021.
It may be noted that the Ministry of Coal has amended Mineral Concession Rules, 1960 with a view to allowing sale of coal or lignite, on payment of additional amount, by the lessee of a captive mine up to 50 percent of the total coal or lignite produced in a financial year, after meeting the requirement of the end use plant linked with the mine. In March, 2021, The Mines and Minerals (Development & Regulation) Act had been amended in 2021 to this effect. This is applicable for both the private and public sector captive mines.