New Delhi: In wake of the increasing coal demand in the power sector, Union Coal ministry is contemplating on the commercial mining of coal. In this regard, Coal ministry will soon introduce a bill in the parliament.

Before giving a nod to the commercial mining, the coal ministry is trying to form a consensus on the issue.

Prior to 1973, the commercial mining of coal was permitted. Former Prime Minister, Late Indira Gandhi had permitted the nationalization of coking mines in 1971-72 and non coking coal mines in 1973.

Coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal in the meeting on Thursday said, “Despite having a policy for the domestic production of coal, there has been no significant increase in the production during past many years.” Keeping the fact in mind, Jaiswal supported the commercialisation process.

Stressing on the importance of coal in the power generation process, Jaiswal said, “Efforts are being made to increase the coal production with the help of public sector and private companies.”
 
Jaiswal claimed: “Approval from Environment ministry and rehabilitation of affected people still continue to play a stumbling block in increasing the coal production.” Owing to these problems, coal production this year is expected to be only 55.40 crore ton, which is nearly 14.20 crore ton less than the required demand of 69.60 crore ton mark.

(JPN/ Bureau)