The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved the continuation of the central sector scheme of exploration of coal and lignite with an estimated expenditure of Rs 29.80 billion from 2021-22 to 2025-26 co-terminus with the 15th Finance Commission cycle.
Under this scheme, exploration for coal and lignite is conducted in two broad stages – promotional (regional) exploration and detailed exploration in Non-Coal India Limited (CIL) blocks. The approval will provide an outlay of Rs 16.50 billion for promotional (regional) exploration and Rs 13.30 billion for detailed drilling in Non-CIL areas. Approximately, 1,300 sq. km area will be covered under regional exploration and approximately 650 sq. km area will be covered under detailed exploration. Exploration for coal and lignite is required to prove and estimate coal resources available in the country.