Ministry sets the ball rolling on policy for surplus coal

The Coal Ministry has started a fresh round of discussions with ministries including Power and Steel on the surplus coal policy that has been kept on the backburner for the past two years.

The policy is aimed at determining the mandate for the use of excess coal from captive mines. According to the Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Act 1973 that oversees captive mining, all coal mined from the block must be used entirely for the respective end-use project.

The Cabinet Secretariat advised the Coal Ministry to start the process afresh and take the policy to the Cabinet for its consideration , a Government official privy to the development told Business Line.

Earlier, when the policy was floated, the Prime Minister’s Office sounded a note of caution and directed the nodal Ministry to put it on hold.

Also, the Law Ministry expressed objections over diversion of excess coal from mines attached to Ultra Mega Power Projects (UMPP). The Coal Ministry feels that excess coal, if any, should be given to Coal India or its subsidiary at a notified price.

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