The Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Amendment Bill, 2000 was introduced in Rajya Sabha on April 24, 2000 to amend the Coal Mines Nationalisation Act, 1973, but could not be taken up for consideration.

The bill, which seeks to allow Indian companies in the private sector to mine coal in the country without the existing restriction of captive mining, was withdrawn by Coal Minister Piyush Goyal as it required more amendments to comply with the recent Supreme Court orders.

Welcoming the move, Left parties, especially CPI and CPI-M, expressed concern over de-nationalisation of the entire coal sector. CPI-M leader Tapan Kumar Sen said, "While welcoming the bill, I want to oppose the context in which the bill will pave way for complete de-nationalisation of coal sector."

"Because of the Supreme Court judgement, I agree that the government has to take some executive steps related to coal blocks issue. To that extent, I welcome withdrawal of the bill, but not the context...," he said. CPI leader D Raja said he opposed privatisation of the coal sector. The Supreme Court had in September cancelled allocation of 204 coal blocks, including 42 operational mines and another 32 ready-to-start blocks.

Another bill that seeks to provide incentives for creating and commercialising intellectual property from public funded research was withdrawn by Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan.

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