In the year 1973 Prime Minister Mrs.Indira Gandhi in a well guarded secret move nationalized all the coal mines and now the Prime Minister Mr.Narendra Modi Government after a gap of 44 years denationalized the coal mining to private sector companies with the move monopoly of Central Government undertaking Coal India Limited has ended. So far it had been producing 80 per cent of total coal production of India and rest 20 per cent by private firms on getting allotment of coal block.
Recently there had been 2 big scams the Spectrum in Communication sector and another in the allotment of coal blocks to private firm. In Spectrum case the Court has ruled that there is no scandal in it and entire deal was clean and right.
It is estimated that the country has coal reserves of 300 billion tonnes. The coal energy is also source of our power energy. India generates 70 per cent of its power production from thermal plants.
Presently the country besides its own coal production also importing coal from the Indonesia and Australia. The move to privatize coal mines will invite domestic and foreign investments and state of art technology in the mining methods.
We are yet to update our mining technology which is legging behind in world standard. It will also ramp up domestic production and reduce our dependence in import. In private sector the competition is inheritant factor and all the parties will work on reducing the mining cost with updated technology.
In India the Jharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh are coal mines states with Jharkhand in the lead. In Madhya Pradesh Sarni, Parasia, Sidhi, Chhindwara are coal mine areas. The higher domestic and foreign investment with also create new jobs.
Unless we are able to switchover to nuclear civil power, solar and wind energy the first of all thermal and followed by hydro power will be our main source of energy and overall development of the country. At present there are no moves to wind up Coal India but in due course there may be disinvestment in the Coal India Limited like that of Air India.
All big, medium and small coal mines will be offered to private companies for mining. It will led to energy security through assured coal supplies and our natural coal resources are used for national development.
In 2014 the Supreme Court struck down allotment of all 204 coal mines and coal block through screening method. To overcome judicial hurdle the Modi Government secured new Coal Mines Special Provision Act of 2015 to open door to private sector.