In a gazette notification, the ministry amended the Environment Protection Act to drop mandatorily washing coal for supply to thermal power plants. According to the gazette notification, use of coal by Thermal Power Plants, without stipulations as regards ash content or distance shall be permitted.
Moody’s Investors Service said India’s economy is expected to contract for the first time in more than four decades saying economic damage owing to the coronavirus-induced lockdown will be significant with lower consumption and sluggish business activity. It however expected the economy to see a recovery in fiscal 2021-22, somewhat stronger than its earlier forecast of 6.6% growth.
India’s coal-fired power plants must meet stringent new emission norms by 2022, which were set in December 2015 by the ministry of environment, forest and climate change (MoEF&CC). But a new study report by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) says with barely two years to go before the deadline hits them, almost 70% of the plants will not meet the emission standards.
The government’s move to open up commercial coal mining can halve the annual expenditure incurred on importing non-coking coal to as much as Rs 45,000 crore because of substitution through domestic production, rating agency CRISIL said. In fiscal 2020, India imported an estimated 180-190 million tonnes of non-coking coal costing over Rs 90,000 crore.
On May 20, the Cabinet approved liberalisation of coal mining by eliminating eligibility conditions for private sector participation.
Within days of Finance Minister Ms Nirmala Sitharaman announcing Rs 50,000 crore investment in coal infrastructure as part of an economic stimulus, Central Coalfields Ltd has become the first miner to bid out projects worth Rs 1,200 crore for automation of coal handling operations in four of its largest mines.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved the methodology for auction of coal and lignite mines/blocks for sale of coal/lignite on revenue sharing basis and increasing the tenure of coking coal linkage, an official release said.