NEW DELHI: The government will ensure that coal demand of states, PSUs and small players is fully met before opening the sector for commercial mining by private companies, Union Minister Piyush Goyal said today.
In the first stage, the coal blocks under commercial mining will be given to states and PSUs “then gradually (the government would) go down to the next level.”
“Today I want to make sure that all requirements of the states are fully met first and the small people so that it may not happen that the private miners come and the price of coal gets disturbed,” the Power Minister said.
He said the next round of mines auction would take some more time as the government is still watching the international market pricing.
Last month, the government had said the coal ministry is likely to come out with an approach paper for formulating a detailed policy on commercial coal mining by March.
“Earlier, we were thinking to open up the coal sector for commercial mining for the private sector in the current fiscal. But it is likely that there would be some delays,” Coal Secretary Anil Swarup had said.
He had said the government did not get “too many” responses in the last auction and Coal India has also increased its production to meet the demand.
“So, we will take a look at the market situation before we put up the blocks for commercial mining for private companies,” Swarup had said.
The government plans to put up coal blocks for auction to private players for opening up the coal sector for commercial mining.