The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the Ministry of Coal’s proposal for providing a one-time window to the central and state public sector undertakings (PSU) to surrender non-operational mines without penalty (forfeiture of bank guarantee) and without citing any reason.
This may release several coal mines which the present government PSU allottees are not in a position to develop or are disinterested and could be auctioned as per the present auction policy. A three months’ time will be granted to the allottee government companies to surrender the coal mines. Till December-2021, 45 mines out of 73 coal mines allotted to Government companies, remained non-operational and due date of commencement of mining operations in case of 19 coal mines is already over. Delays were due to reasons beyond the control of allottees, including law and order issues, enhancement in the area of forest from what was declared earlier, resistance of land-holders against land acquisition, geological surprises in terms of availability of coal resources, among others.