• There is adequate availability of coal in the country. The country has witnessed the highest ever coal production in the year 2022-23.
  • The all-India coal production in the year 2022-23 was 893.19 MT in comparison to 778.21 MT in the year 2021-22.
  • Further, in the current financial year upto Nov. 2023, the country has produced about 591.40 MT of coal as compared to about 524.72 MT during the same period of last year with a growth of about 13%.
  • The steps taken by the Government to make the country self-sufficient in the production and supply of coal to power plants are as under:
    • Conducting transparent auctions for commercial mining of coal. So far in 7 tranches, 91 coal blocks have been successfully auctioned. Total PRC of these 91 blocks is 231 MT.
    • Regular reviews by the Ministry of Coal to expedite the development of coal blocks.
    • Enactment of Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2021 for enabling captive mines owners (other than atomic minerals) to sell up to 50% of their annual mineral (including coal) production in the open market after meeting the requirement of the end use plant linked with the mine in such manner as may be prescribed by the Central Government on payment of such additional amount.
    • Single Window Clearance portal for the coal sector to speed up the operationalization of coal mines.
    • Project Monitoring Unit for hand-holding of coal block allottees for obtaining various approvals / clearances for early operationalization of coal mines.
    • Auction of commercial mining on a revenue sharing basis launched in 2020. Under the commercial mining scheme, a rebate of 50 % on final offer would be allowed for the quantity of coal produced earlier than the scheduled date of production. Also, incentives on coal gasification or liquefaction (rebate of 50 % on final offer) have been granted.
    • The Ministry of Coal is coordinating with the Ministry of Railways to enhance coal evacuation & distribution capabilities. At present, 13 Railway lines are being constructed in collaboration with the Ministry of Railways for expansion of coal distribution capabilities, which are at various stages of construction.
    • A total of 67 First Mile Connectivity (FMC) Projects with 885 MT capacity being taken up in 3 phases to achieve capacity of 1 BT mechanized handling of coal. In line with the goal of PM Gati Shakti, the Ministry of Coal has undertaken railway projects costing over Rs. 26000 Cr to develop coal evacuation infrastructure projects.
    • During the year 2023-24, the coal imported was 125.21 MT, and around 131.86 MT was imported in the corresponding period of the previous year, thereby registering a reduction of 5.04%. This has been made possible owing to the Government’s efforts to boost domestic coal availability.
  • Southeastern Coalfields Limited (SECL) was incorporated on 28.11.1985 with the objective to acquire and take over business of the Bilaspur division of Western Coalfields & the Talcher division of Central Coalfields limited. SECL is a Schedule-B Miniratna CPSE in the coal & lignite sector.
  • It is one of the eight subsidiaries of Coal India Limited (A Govt. of India Undertaking) under the Ministry of Coal having registered Corporate Office at Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh.

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