The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved an ordinance to amend two laws to ease mining rules, enabling foreign direct investment in coal mining.
At a Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the ordinance to amend the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 and the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, 2015 was approved, Parliamentary Affairs and Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi said at a press conference. He said the ‘historic’ decision would boost the ease of doing business and increase the growth avenues. He said the Coal India would be strengthened and the government was aiming at achieving production of one billion tonnes by 2023-2024.
Mr. Joshi said “end-use restrictions” had been done away with allowing “anyone to participate in the auction of coal blocks”. The ordinance would strengthen the auction process of those mines whose leases were expiring on March 31, 2020. Seamless transfer of clearances would also be facilitated, he said.
Petroleum and Natural Gas and Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said the steel industry would get cheaper inputs, leading to an increase in ‘competitiveness’.