Coal Ministry Finalises Agenda Document for Sector Reforms

The Coal Ministry finalised the agenda document for the current fiscal year on Monday. For the first time, the Coal Ministry has brought out an agenda document in a compilation form and given it to all senior functionaries responsible for the areas covered in the agenda document.

Areas of the Agenda Document

The agenda document broadly focuses on these four areas:

  • Coal sector reforms
  • Coal transition and sustainability
  • Institution building 
  • Futuristic agenda

The coal sector reforms include the Jharia master plan, regulatory reforms (exploration), coking coal strategy, and coal beneficiation. It also includes projects for FY 2021-22 and marketing reforms.

The coal transition and sustainability cover the areas of monetisation of de-coaled land, social aspects of coal transition, use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in data mining or drones, and sustainability, i.e. net zero emissions.

The institution-building segment contains reforms in the Coal Mines Provident Fund Organisation (CMPFO), Coal Controller Organisation (CCO), upgrading coal testing lab, staffing quality and training issues.

The futuristic segment includes coal to chemical (syngas, liquid fuels, hydrogen gas), diversify Coal India Limited (CIL) business and explore prospects in sunrise industries electric charging pods, EVs, etc. It also includes acquisition and mergers of new or similar companies after due diligence, close monitoring of CSR activities and media campaigns.

Agenda Document Importance

The agenda document covers the entire areas for steering the coal sector into recent technologies and focuses on securing the set production targets, including the one billion tonnes by 2024.

The areas covered in the agenda document boost the major reforms done in the last few years and give direction for meeting and covering the emerging and existing challenges of the coal sector. It aligns with the diversification thrust and emerging technologies of the coal sector.

The Ministry has designed the agenda document with reviewing and monitoring framework and has given the responsibility of steering the four areas to senior functionaries to conduct regular monitoring and appraisals. The coal secretary will review the agenda document frequently for mid-course alignments or directions.

Coal is a significantly abundant fossil fuel in India, and it occupies the centre stage of India’s energy scenario. It helps in the energy requirement of domestic industry and development. The agenda document will help achieve the targeted coal production, thereby benefiting the working of domestic industries. 

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For any clarifications/feedback on the topic, please contact the writer at mayashree.acharya@cleartax.in

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