He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked his ministry to get the "best" of technology for CIL.     

"The Prime Minister raised the issue of coal technology with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot," he said.

He said this when asked as to why CIL has been able to produce little amount of coal per annum as compared to other producers.

The Minister said government is in the process of fast tracking rail links in Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.

"Once the rail links are ready, 200 million tonne of coal can be evacuated," he said.

Responding to a question on the recent ordinance promulgated on auction of coal blocks cancelled by the apex court, he said the e-auction will be completed by March 31, 2015 and if the process is not completed, a "designated authority" mentioned in the ordinance will take over the mines.

He said as per the SC order, the cancellation will come into force on March 31 next.

"As regards financial implication of the judgement on the coal sector, the total amount of additional levy payable by the allocatees of producing coal blocks for coal produced or likely to be produced up to March 31, 2015 is estimated at Rs 10,494.36 crore," he said.

He rejected a suggestion of Jyotiraditya Scindia (Congress) that the issue of cancellation has created a 'crisis' for the government. "It is an opportunity, not a crisis for the government...will help clean up the sector," he said.

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