The central government is considering a proposal to acquire land under the Coal Bearing Areas (CBA) Act, 1957 and then lease it to private players to expedite the development of coal blocks allocated for commercial mining, according to senior government officials. Currently, the CBA Act is used for acquisition of land for use by state-owned coal mining companies, such as Coal India Ltd (CIL).
The Centre had, in June, liberalised the bidding norms for coal blocks, announcing an auction of 41 blocks allowing for commercial mining for the first time.
“(The Coal Ministry is considering) allowing the acquisition of land under the CBA Act and then to give it on lease to private sector coal miners,” said M Nagaraju, joint secretary in the Coal Ministry, speaking at a webinar on the financing perspective of auction of coal mines for commercial mining organised by FICCI.
Anil Kumar Jain, Coal Secretary, said his ministry was in discussions with the Environment Ministryto expedite clearances for successful bidders for coal blocks.
“We are hopeful that in the next 6-12 months you might hear that the time taken to get forest may also get reduced,” he said.
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