Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday announced commercial mining of coal by the private sector, ending government monopoly on the sector.
In her fourth tranche of the economic package, she said commercial mining will be done on revenue sharing mechanism instead of the regime of fixed rupee/tonne.
Nearly 50 blocks will be offered for bidding, she said.
This is being done to reduce import of substitutable coal and increase self-reliance in coal production.
Also, the government will invest Rs 50,000 crore for building evacuation infrastructure.
Sitharaman also announced major reforms in the mining of minerals through a seamless composite exploration-cum-production regime.
She said 500 blocks of minerals will be auctioned in a composite exploration-cum-mining-cum-production regime.
Also, a joint auction of bauxite and coal blocks would be done to enhance the aluminium industry's competitiveness.
This, she said, will help the aluminium industry reduce electricity costs.
She said the distinction between captive and non-captive mines will be removed to allow the transfer of mining leases and sale of surplus unused minerals, leading to better efficiency and production.
(with inputs from PTI)
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