The government on Wednesday approved the continuation of the central sector plan 'Exploration of Coal and Lignite scheme' with an estimated expenditure of Rs 2,980 crore.
The time period for the extension is from 2021-22 to 2025-26 co-terminus with the 15th Finance Commission cycle, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) said in a statement.
"The CCEA chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the continuation of the Central Sector Scheme of "Exploration of Coal and Lignite scheme" with an estimated expenditure of Rs 2,980 crore from 2021-22 to 2025-26 co-terminus with the 15th Finance Commission cycle," it said.
Under this scheme, exploration for coal and lignite is conducted in two broad stages: (i) Promotional (Regional) Exploration and (ii) Detailed Exploration in non-Coal India Limited blocks.
The approval will provide an outlay of Rs 1,650 crore for promotional (Regional) exploration and Rs 1,330 crore for detailed drilling in non-CIL areas, the statement said.
Approximately 1,300 sq km area will be covered under Regional exploration, and about 650 sq km area will be covered under detailed exploration, it added.
Exploration for Coal and Lignite is required to prove and estimate coal resources available in the country, which helps in preparing detailed project reports to start coal mining.
The geological reports prepared through these explorations are used for auctioning new coal blocks, and the cost is thereafter recovered from successful allocatee.