Watch investments and jobs, Prime Minister pushes for coal and mining reforms

NEW DELHI: PM Narendra Modi On Thursday, it called on ministries to implement the next wave of reforms to attract significant investment, internal mineral processing and the replacement of imported thermal coal with an inventory of national production to increase self-sufficiency in these areas.

A government statement said the prime minister called on top officials of both ministries to reform the structure to auction mines and establish efficient institutional arrangements to ensure greater private sector participation in exploration and mining.

The prime minister's emphasis on moving towards self-sufficiency and investment comes in the context of the government developing a plan to boost the economy and create jobs once the country comes out of the coronavirus blockade.

The auction of additional blocks to attract new investments and induce technology to reduce the cost of mining and transportation was discussed. In asking the mining ministry to prepare an action plan for benchmarking operations with international standards, the prime minister called for using modern technologies for efficient mining. It also ordered that delays in obtaining authorizations be reduced and that a partnership be established with states to facilitate increased private investment.

Ways to make the public sector more competitive, as well as broad-based community development activities through the Minerals Development Fund were also discussed. The use of sea routes for domestic supplies was also considered.

Other areas identified for new reforms included efficient and environmentally sound first-mile connectivity to transport coal from mines to rail landslides, automatic loading on rail cars, gasification and liquefaction of coal, as well as coal bed methane exploration.