Greater investment needed in coal production projects: Sitharaman

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday said a fast growing economy like India needs greater investment in coal production and gasification projects as globally, energy prices especially that of gas, is going up.

Launching the sixth round of coal mine auction of the Ministry of Coal here the Finance Minister highlighted that India is at present the best investment destination in the world.

The minister pointed out that due to policy consistency and transparent process of the present Government, coal imports for power sector has come down by 41 per cent.

Sitharaman said that 11 states are to benefit directly from Thursday’s auctioning of 141 coal mines.

She said that mining sector reforms are providing the right fillip to our fast growing economy.

Finance Ministry will be extending all help for coal gasification and incentives in commercial mining, she further added.

Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi said that the coal ministry is exploring alternative methodology for enhanced use of coal.

Joshi said that Finance Ministry has extended Rs 6,000 crore incentive for coal gasification and Rs 250 crore for exploration process.

During the biggest auction undertaken so far, today 141 mines pertaining to 11 states have been auctioned.

Joshi said that previously auctioned mines have started production and hoped that 10 to 15 million tonnes coal will be produced from new mines by next year.

The Ministry of Coal is anticipating 900 million tonnes production this year, he said.

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