Towards Self-Reliance

Business World | April 13, 2021

Coal India as a whole produced 602.14 MT of coal during 2019-20 accomplishing 91 per cent of the targeted production.

Notwithstanding the projections over renewables displacing coal, the fact of the matter is that coal will continue to be the dominant fuel driving India’s electricity generation for the next few decades and Coal India is the single largest coal producer in the world.

Coal India (CIL), the state-owned coal mining corporate, came into being in November 1975, producing a modest 79 million tonne (MT) at the time. CIL today is the single largest coal producer in the world and one of the largest corporate employers with a workforce of 2,72,445 (as on 1st April 2020). CIL functions through its subsidiaries in 84 mining areas spread over eight states. It has 352 mines (as on 1st April 2020) of which 158 are underground, 174 are opencast and 20 mixed mines. CIL further operates 12 coal washeries, (10 coking coal and 2 non-coking coal) and also manages other establishments like workshops, hospitals, and so on.

The PSU has 26 training institutes and 84 vocational training centres. The Indian Institute of Coal Management (IICM), a state-of-the-art management training ‘centre of excellence’ – the largest corporate training institute in India — operates under CIL and conducts multi-disciplinary programmes.

MAHARATNA MANDATE: CIL is a Maharatna company, a Government of India classification of the most important and the biggest state-owned enterprises with the mandate to expand their operations and emerge as global giants.

Despite the many challenges that emerged including the extended and heavy monsoon, inundation of Dipka mine, subdued demand for power, Covid-19 in the last fortnight of March 2020, CIL managed to come back strongly in the second half of fiscal 2019-20, making up most of the lost ground in the first half. Coal India as a whole produced 602.14 MT of coal during 2019-20 accomplishing 91 per cent of the targeted production.

Coal India achieved a net profit of Rs 16,700.34 crore and gross sales of Rs 1,34,979.13 crore. All subsidiaries of Coal India earned profit before tax during the year. Coal India and its subsidiaries paid/adjusted Rs 43,058.72 crore towards royalty, GST, cess, District Mineral Foundation (DMF) and National Mineral Exploration Trust (NMET) and other levies. CIL subsidiaries also distributed 15,42,982 masks and 63,256 litres of hand sanitiser to its employees and people living in and around its operational areas to fight Covid-19. In addition, they also procured N95 masks, ventilators, PPE suits, thermal scanners and oxygen cylinders to fight the Covid pandemic.

Coal India is one of the highest CSR spenders among the PSUs touching the lives of the countrymen. Its CSR activities largely encompass education, rural development, healthcare, women empowerment, skill development and sports. CIL and its subsidiaries spent a total of Rs 587.84 crore on CSR activities during 2019-20.

Based on the demand projection for the coal sector in the country in the coming years and subsequently, a roadmap has been prepared for the medium term wherein CIL envisages 1 billion tonne coal production by 2023-24. To achieve this target, CIL has identified major projects and assessed other related issues.

The capital expenditure for 2020-21 has been pegged at Rs 10,000 crore. CIL plans to invest substantial amount in diversification projects like solar power, revival of fertiliser plants, coal gasification and rail wagon procurement during 2020-21.

The company’s vision is to ensure that there is no shortage of coal in the country and achieve self-reliance in coal. Coal India envisions to be a commercially viable company and endeavours to move ahead as a contemporary, professional, consumer friendly and successful corporate entity committed to national developmental goals.

HC stays e-tender for calcite mining in Visakhapatnam

The Hindu | Sumit Bhattacharjee | April 11, 2021

The Andhra Pradesh High Court has put on hold for three weeks the e-tender for ‘working of calcite mining lease’ in 8.725 hectares at Nimmalapadu village in Ananthagiri mandal of Visakhapatnam district, on ‘raising-cum-sale contract basis’ floated by the Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corporation (APMDC).

The High Court passed the order after hearing a writ petition filed by Sri Abhaya Girijana Mutually Aided Labour Contract Cooperative Society on Saturday.

The cooperative society has been trying to get the lease for mining since the last two decades. But, it was rejected by the APMDC every time. Earlier, the Birla group had the lease over the mines and it was passed to the APMDC after a Supreme Court order in 1995.

Earlier, the cooperative society had also proposed a tripartite agreement with the State government and a private party, but it was rejected, said Ravi Rebbapragada, Executive Director of Samata.

Mr. Ravi had played a key role in getting the Samata judgement from the Supreme Court which protects the tribal rights and acts as a benchmark for all tribal related issues along with the Panchayat Extension to the Scheduled Areas Act (PESA) and the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act (FRA).

‘No grama sabha held’

According to Mr. Ravi, the cooperative society’s pleas were ignored and neither did the APMDC care to hold a grama sabha with the tribal people from the region, before floating the e-tender, in violation of the PESA, FRA and Samata and Niyamgiri judgments of the Supreme Court.

Moreover, the cooperative society contested that one of the clause in the e-tender said that the lease would be be given to a tribal person, not to a tribal cooperative. “This provision will facilitate benami trading, as no tribal person has the mining equipment listed in the contractual clauses,” he said.

The members of the cooperative society said that clauses should be modified and cooperatives be allowed to place their bids, and grama sabha be held as per the laws embedded in the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution. The area earmarked for mining is rich in mineral and the calcite is pure and free of silica. The tribal people need to get the benefit of the resources, said Mr. Ravi.

New life to the mining sector

The Sanghai Express | April 11, 2021
Pralhad Joshi
Contd from prev issue
This Amendment Act is set to redefine the standard of exploration required for auctioning partially explored mineral blocks for Prospecting License-cum-Mining Lease. This will boost the seamless transition from exploration to production and encourage participation of private players. The amended provisions in the Act also ensure better clarity on ‘Mining without Lawful Authority’ to save leaseholders from unjustified penalties under other litigations.

We have also fulfilled a long-standing demand by making local Members of Parliament a member of District Mineral Foundation (DMF) Governing Council to make DMF more outcome-oriented. Arrangements have also been made to keep a check on misuse of DMF funds so that inclusive development of those affected by mining can be ensured.

There are several other changes in the MMDR Act that will boost ease of doing business in the mineral mining sector and make it more competitive and productive. The MMDR Amendment Act, 2021 will pave the way for the creation of almost 55 lakh employment opportunities along with having a multiplier effect on several other sectors. Prime Minister Modi has ensured that the mineral mining sector gets to play its actual role of being the foundation of the nation’s economy. Over several meetings, he has laid out an envisioned plan wherein the sector is taking allied industries on a growth course to becoming a $5 trillion economy. I am happy that these amendments are in line with his vision and confident that the sector has a major role to play in defining us as a New India. PIB The author is Union Minister of Coal, Mines & Parliamentary Affairs

APMDC has no right to issue tender for calcite mining in scheduled area: EAS Sarma

The Hindu | April 09, 2021

‘It should be first discussed in the local adivasi Gram Sabha’
Former secretary to GOI and former Commissioner for Tribal Welfare, A.P. Government, E.A.S. Sarma, has taken strong exception to the way in which the AP Mineral Development Corporation (APMDC) has issued an E-Tender for ‘Working of Calcite Mining Lease’ of 8.725 hectares at Nimmalapadu village in Ananthagiri mandal in Visakhapatnam district, on ‘Raising-cum-sale contract basis’.

In a letter to the Chief Secretary, he stated that the APMDC has no right to unilaterally issue such a notification and it was in gross violation of the provisions embedded in the Panchayat (Extension to the Scheduled Areas) Act (PESA) and the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act (FRA).

Speaking to The Hindu, he said that both the Acts are applicable to the Nimmalapadu village, as it lies within the notified Scheduled Area of Visakhapatnam district.

According to him, in the Scheduled Areas, as per the provisions of PESA, the question whether any mineral should be extracted and, if so, by whom, should be discussed first by the local adivasi Gram Sabha.

Such a prior discussion had not apparently taken place, he alleged. Even under the FRA, it is necessary that the individual and community rights to the land and the forest resources should be subject to prior discussion by the local adivasi Gram Sabha, which appears to have been bypassed, he added.

As such, the e-tender notice is patently illegal and liable to be set aside, he said.

The Samata Judgement and the judgement in the case of bauxite mining by Vedanta in the scheduled area of Odisha, holds good in this case also, said Mr. Sarma.

It is learnt that a local tribal cooperative has approached the AP High Court to obtain a stay on the e-tender.

A few years ago, the same tribal cooperative had approached the government for lease for mining and was denied.

In new India, leveraging the country’s great mineral potential

Hindustan Times | Pralhad Joshi | April 07, 2021

Given the importance of the sector, the Narendra Modi government has envisioned increasing the sector’s contribution from 1.75% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) currently to 2.5% of GDP

Among the most important sectors with an impact on economic growth is mineral mining. In terms of generating employment, the sector, second only to agriculture, directly and indirectly employs about 11 million people, and sustains the livelihood of about 55 million people.

Despite its huge potential, India’s mineral mining sector remained choked under previous regimes. India had been underexplored — over 17% of the nation’s land area has mineral reserves whereas mining is being carried out only on 0.25% of the area. The sector had also underperformed in attracting investments. While mineral production stands at ₹1.25 lakh crore annually, its import is a whopping ₹2.5 lakh crore.

But given the importance of the sector, the Narendra Modi government has envisioned increasing the sector’s contribution from 1.75% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) currently to 2.5% of GDP. My ministry’s most important task, therefore, has been reforming this sector, with the aim of increasing the mineral production output by 200% over the next seven years. The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2021 is a step towards achieving this.

Despite its huge potential, India’s mineral mining sector remained choked under previous regimes. India had been underexplored — over 17% of the nation’s land area has mineral reserves whereas mining is being carried out only on 0.25% of the area. The sector had also underperformed in attracting investments. While mineral production stands at ₹1.25 lakh crore annually, its import is a whopping ₹2.5 lakh crore.

But given the importance of the sector, the Narendra Modi government has envisioned increasing the sector’s contribution from 1.75% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) currently to 2.5% of GDP. My ministry’s most important task, therefore, has been reforming this sector, with the aim of increasing the mineral production output by 200% over the next seven years. The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2021 is a step towards achieving this.

A large number of mining blocks were not brought into production for many years. Most have been blocked in legacy cases. Such cases can neither be granted lease because the time period to grant them is already over, nor can they be brought to auction because of the legal impasse. We have amended the existing provision for reallocation of such mineral blocks through a transparent auction mechanism. Auctioned mines not made operational within three years will be returned to states concerned for reallocation through auction, as will greenfield mines allocated to public sector units that are not brought into production after a review.

One of the key reforms is transferring all valid rights, approvals, clearances and licenses to the new lessee, valid until the mineral reserves last. This would facilitate lessees to transfer the mine to another entity, thus bringing in fresh investment and entrepreneurship to operate the mine.

Since 2015, geological reports for 143 mineral blocks have been handed over to various states. These blocks are auction-ready, but so far, states have only auctioned seven blocks. To ensure that national reserves are put to best use, a provision has been made wherein the Union government can conduct auctions in consultation where states face challenges or fail to conduct auctions.

Removing the distinction between captive and non-captive mines was long in coming. We knew it was akin to participating in a race with one leg tied. With no such distinction now, there will be a level-playing field for mineral block auctions. Existing captive mines have also been allowed to sell minerals over and above their requirements. A 50% rebate in the revenue share, for the quantity of minerals produced and dispatched earlier than scheduled date of production, has also been provided.

This amendment Act is set to redefine the standard of exploration required for auctioning of partially explored mineral blocks for prospecting licence-cum-mining lease. This will boost seamless transition from exploration to production and encourage the participation of private players. The amended provisions in the Act also ensure better clarity on “Mining without Lawful Authority” to save lease-holders from unjustified penalties under other litigations.

We have also fulfilled a long-standing demand by making local Members of Parliament members of the District Mineral Foundation (DMF) governing council to make DMF more outcome-oriented. Arrangements have also been made to keep a check on misuse of DMF funds so that inclusive development of those affected by mining can be ensured. There are several other changes in the MMDR Act that will boost the ease of doing business in the mineral mining sector, make it more competitive, pave the way for creation of employment opportunities, and have a multiplier effect on several other sectors. Over several meetings, PM Modi laid out a plan where the sector takes allied industries on a growth course to help India become a $5-trillion economy. These amendments are in line with his vision, and the sector will play a major role in defining a New India.

1 7 8 9 10 11 50