Single Window Clearance System for Coal Mines

The Union Home Minister Amit Shah recently launched the “Single Window Clearance System” for coal mines.

What is Single Window Clearance System?

The Single Window Clearance System for Coal Mines is an online platform launched to obtain clearances for smooth operationalisation of coal mines. It is aimed at allowing coal bidders to obtain all required clearances from a single portal. Currently, a company has to receive 19 major approvals to start a coal mine. Now with the single Window Clearance System, all the 19 approvals can be obtained in one place. This is one of the major steps in Coal Sector reforms of Government of India.

What are the recent coal sector reforms?

The Government of India recently introduced several coal sector reforms. They are as follows

  • Commercial mining of coal was allowed with fifty blocks offered to private sector.
  • Coal blocks were offered to private companies on revenue sharing basis.
  • Coal Bed Methane extraction rights are to be auctioned from Coal India’s coal mines.

Why were coal sector reforms introduced?

Coal Sector reforms were introduced to reduce coal imports in the country. Despite of the fact that India is the fourth largest producer of coal in the world, the country is the second largest importer of coal in the world. Therefore, the coal sector reforms were introduced to make India self-reliant in coal sector.

What are the benefits of coal sector reforms?

In 1973, the coal sector was nationalised. This meant that domestic coal can only be mined by public sector companies. However, the coal demand continued to grow at a faster rate. Because of this, the coal imports increased. The coal imports stood at 23% between 2009 and 2014. Introduction of commercial mining of coal will help to increase the coal production and bridge the supply gap. The Commercial coal mining will increase investment opportunities and save foreign exchange.

What is Coal Bed Methane?

It is a form of natural gas extracted from coal beds.

What are Coal Bed Methane reserves of India?

2,600 billion cubic metres.

Where are Coal Bed Methane reserves found in India?

Majority of the coal bed methane reserves are found in the Gondwana sediments of eastern India.

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