Cabinet clears Ordinance to remove restrictions on coal block bidding

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News: The Union Cabinet has approved the Promulgation of Mineral Laws (Amendment) Ordinance 2020

Facts:

  • It amends Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act 1957 and Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act 2015.

Key features:

  • Allows companies that do not have coal mine operations in India to also participate in coal block auctions.
  • It provides for composite prospecting licence-cum-mining lease for coal and lignite blocks.

Significance:

  • access to high-end technology for underground mining used by global miners
  • Boost to production and mining efficiency
  • Less imports
  • assured coal supply
  • accountable allocation of coal
  • affordable fuel leading to affordable electricity prices for consumers