In a bid to boost coal mining in the country, the Union government today approved an ordinance which is expected to boost FDI in the sector and improve ease of doing business.

The Cabinet has approved promulgation of Mineral Laws(Amendment) Ordinance 2020 which will amend Mines and Minerals(Developmment and Regulation ) Act 1957 and Coal Mines(Special Provisions) Act 2015.

Briefing the press, Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Coal and Mines Prahlad Joshi said that after the Supreme Court cancelled about 200 coal blocks, only 29 were auctioned due to end-user restrictions. The amendments will remove these restrictions, he said.

Adding he said that it will improve the ease of doing business.

It will also help private companies to do commercial mining of coal. The govt has also approved a change in law to improve FDI in coal mining.

Meanwhile, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan termed the ordinance as a major reform in the coal sector.

Pradhan said this will increase revenue of states like Odisha.

Under the ordinance, allocation of coal/lignite blocks for composite prospecting licence cum mining lease has been provided; requirement of previous approval in cases where allocation of blocks was made by Central Govt has been dispensed with, K.S. Dhatwalia, principle spokesperson in PIB tweeted.

“This will speed up the process of implementation of projects, ease of doing business, simplification of procedure and benefit all the parties in areas where minerals are located,” he further tweeted.

Besides, the Centre has approved gas grid for Northeast states. The govt has also approved viability gap funding for Northeast grid.

The Centre has also approved divestment in Neelachal ISPAT Nigam. The govt will allow Neelachal ISPAT stakeholders to sell their shares.

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