The Coal Ministry has sought fast-track environmental and land acquisition clearances for a dozen mining projects worth Rs.1,400 crore. The Ministry has approached the Cabinet Committee on Investments (CCI) to grant necessary directions to the Ministry of Environment and Forests to clear these projects at the earliest. Since the CCI will examine projects worth Rs.1,000 crore and above, the Ministry has clubbed the 12 projects worth Rs.1,400 crore. Expediting approvals would help realise an additional production of seven million tonnes in the next fiscal.

The Coal Ministry has also asked the CCI to review the progress of three critical rail link projects in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Orissa, where execution has been delayed due to green clearances and land acquisition issues.

On the other hand, the coal and power ministries are working on the issue of coal price pooling to sort out pending issues. The Power Ministry had suggested to the Coal Ministry that the difference in cost of imported and domestic coal should be added to the cost of indigenous fuel at the time of finalising the proposal for coal price pooling. On its part, Coal India had suggested that price-pooling is a mechanism to implement the fuel supply agreement, which it has to sign with power companies.

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