The Prime Minister asked coal and mines ministries to roll out the next wave of reforms for attracting big-ticket investments, domestic processing of minerals and substituting imported thermal coal with inventory of domestic output for building self-reliance in these areas.
In a historic shock amid Covid-19 pandemic, coal is set for the largest decline since World War II alongside sharp reductions for oil and gas, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said. Nuclear power is less affected, while renewables are the only energy source on the rise in 2020.
CIL’s coal allocation under special-forward e-auction for the power sector registered a 15-fold rise at 5.51 million tonnes (MT) in February 2020. against 0.38 MT of coal in February 2019, according to the latest monthly summary by the coal ministry.
The coal allocation under the scheme increased marginally by 0.8% to 26.23 MT in the April-February period of FY2019-20, over 26.02 MT in the corresponding period a year ago, it said.
Pulled down by the Covid-19 induced lockdown in the last week of March and also muted activity in the week prior to that, the Country’s core sector industries growth contracted 6.5% in March 2020, official data showed. This is much lower than the 7.1% growth recorded in February 2020. In March last year, the eight core industries output grew 5.8%.
The decision to allow 100% FDI in coal mining will help bring efficiency in the sector and reduce fuel shortages in the power segment as competition will increase with foreign mining firms entering the domestic market, a finance ministry-constituted task force has said.