Coal reforms announced by the government

The finance minister has also announced reforms in the coal mining sector as part of the government’s fourth tranche of economic package. The key reform measures include approval of commercial mining of coal on revenue-sharing basis and with no eligibility conditions; Rs 500 billion investment for augmenting infrastructure related to coal evacuation; and an overall thrust on expanding domestic production to reduce imports. Further, coal bed methane extraction rights will be auctioned from Coal India Limited’s mines. On the non-coal side, key announcements include auctions of 500 mineral blocks, joint auction of coal and bauxite blocks, rationalisation of stamp duty payable at the time of mining leases, removal of a distinction between captive and non-captive mines, and development of a mineral index.