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Indian Economy

Single Window Clearance for Coal

  • 12 Jan 2021
  • 3 min read

Why in News

Recently, the Union government has announced a new online single window clearance portal for the coal sector.

  • The coal sector can be the biggest contributor towards the target of India becoming a USD 5 trillion economy by 2025.
  • Despite having the world's fourth-largest coal reserves, India is importing coal.
  • The next tranche of commercial mining auction would be launched in January 2021.

Key Points

  • Aim :
    • It is aimed at allowing faster clearances, including environmental and forest clearances, from a single portal with progress monitoring, instead of having to go to multiple authorities.
      • Presently, about 19 major approvals, or clearances are required before starting the coal mine in the country.
  • Significance:
    • The portal will allow successful bidders to operationalise coal mines more quickly.
    • It is in the spirit of minimum government and maximum governance.
    • It will further ease of doing business in the country's coal sector.
    • It will help in bringing huge investment and creating employment.
  • Future Plan:
    • PARIVESH Mechanism for forest and environment related clearances would likely be merged into this single window clearance mechanism which is expected to help with the operationalisation of the coals blocks that are set to be auctioned in the upcoming auctions.
      • PARIVESH is a web-based application which has been developed for online submission and monitoring of the proposals submitted by the proponents for seeking Environment, Forest, Wildlife and Coastal Regulation Zones (CRZ) Clearances from Central, State and district level authorities.
  • Recent Initiatives in Coal Sector:
    • As a part of Atmanirbhar Abhiyaan:
      • Commercial mining of coal allowed, with 50 blocks to be offered to the private sector.
      • Entry norms will be liberalised as it has done away with the regulation requiring power plants to use “washed” coal.
      • Coal blocks to be offered to private companies on revenue sharing basis in place of fixed cost.
      • Coal gasification/liquefaction to be incentivised through rebate in revenue share.
      • Coal bed methane (CBM) extraction rights to be auctioned from Coal India’s coal mines.
    • UTTAM (Unlocking Transparency by Third Party Assessment of Mined Coal): In April 2018, the Ministry of Coal launched UTTAM Application for coal quality monitoring.
    • Scheme for Harnessing and Allocating Koyala (Coal) Transparently in India (SHAKTI): Launched in May 2017, for allocation of future coal linkages in a transparent manner for the power sector.

Source:IE

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