Launching the single window clearance portal for starting coal mines in the country, Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday said the coal sector would be a major contributor towards the goal of a $5-trillion economy.
“The pandemic may slow down our speed in realising the dream of becoming a $5-trillion economy but we will certainly achieve it,” he said, noting that reforms under the Narendra Modi government had brought transparency and ease of doing business to the coal sector, which was earlier thought to be contributing less that one-third of its total potential to the country’s economy.
The launch also included the signing of agreements with 19 successful bidders during the first ever auction of coal blocks for commercial mining, which had concluded in November.
Shah said the operationalisation of the coal blocks allocated to the 19 bidders would bring states annual revenues of Rs 6,500 crore and create more than 70,000 jobs.
Also at the event was Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi, who said, “Presently, about 19 major approvals, or clearances are required before starting the coal mine in the country. In the absence of unified platform for grant of clearances, companies were required to approach different departments, leading to delay in operationalisation of the coal mines.” He added that the portal would be operationalised in a phased manner.
Clearances including environment and forest clearances, wild life clearance, clearances related to safety, and rehabilitation of project-affected families among others are set to be granted via the portal which is already capable of providing approval for mining plans on launch, according to a government release.
An expert, who requested anonymity, said some coal blocks auctioned as far back as 2015 had still not been operationalised due to delays in obtaining clearances.
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