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India’s Coal and Lignite Production hits all-time high

Why is it in the news?

  • India’s coal and lignite production has reached an all-time high of over 1 billion tonnes for the fiscal year 2023-24, marking a growth of more than 70% over the last decade due to favourable government support.
  • The achievement holds significant implications for India’s energy security, reducing dependence on imports, saving foreign exchange reserves, and achieving the target to replace coal imports for power generation by 2025-26.

More about the news

  • India possesses the 5th largest geological reserves of coal globally and is the 2nd largest consumer of coal worldwide.
  • Coal India Limited (CIL) is the largest producer, accounting for over 70% of coal production in India.
  • Import of coal remains significant, with India importing 217.75 million tonnes in FY 2023-24, primarily non-coking coal making up approximately 77% of total imports.
  • Challenges faced by the coal sector include unseasonal rainfall in coal-bearing areas, non-payment of dues by power sector consumers, labour disputes, land acquisition, environmental concerns, and issues with coal quality and mining techniques.

Key reforms in the coal sector

Reforms in the Coal SectorDescription
Coal Mines Special Provisions Act, 2015Aimed at ensuring transparent auction processes for coal mines.
Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2021Allows for composite Prospecting Licence-cum-Mining Lease (PL-cum-ML), simplifying the process for acquiring licenses and leases.
Cessation of the captive mining regimeFacilitates commercial mining and sale of excess production, moving away from the previous captive mining system.
Single window clearancesIntroduced to streamline and expedite the operationalization of coal mines by addressing administrative hurdles.

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