India has launched an online auction for the commercial mining of 41 blocks of coal.
The auction, announced by the Coal Ministry and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry, is considered to be a step towards making India self-reliant in the energy sector and is expected to generate new jobs.
Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, said the move “means reducing dependency on imports and saving foreign currency on imports. It entails that India develops resources domestically so that the country does not have to rely on imports. It also means becoming the biggest exporters of the commodities that we now import”.
India is considered to be ‘world’s fourth-largest’ coal reserve and plans to open the coal sector for increased participation, competition, capital investment and technology – this would allow any sector to purchase coal for their requirements.
Narendra Modi added: “Latest technology can be introduced to make gas from coal and the environment will be protected with steps like coal gasification. Coal gas will be used in transport and cooking while Urea and steel will promote manufacturing industries.”
India has set a target to gasify 100 million tonnes of coal by 2030, with an investment go ₹20,000 crores (£2.1bn) earmarked for the project.