Looking at 10-15% growth in FY19: Coal India

India is said to have coal reserves of up to 300 billion tonnes

The CCEA has also approved the methodology for auction of coal mines/ blocks.

Earlier National Democratic Alliance (NDA) had sought to replace the administrative allocation of coal blocks by auction in the Coal Mines (Special Provision) Act, 2015 after Supreme Court cancelled 204 coal blocks allocated to various state and private companies, in 2014.

Government initiates one of the biggest reforms in the mining sector, Union Cabinet approves private and global participation in commercial coal mining, move likely to augment availability of coal, act as a major catalyst for industry.

"It will increase competitiveness and allow the best possible technology into the sector", the minister said announcing the decision taken by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs.

The government expects revenue from private commercial mining to help in the development of backward areas, especially in the eastern part of the country. The total capacity of mines allocated and auctioned, including Coal India SCCL and Neyveli Lignite as on date is about 1,500 million tonnes per annum at the current rated capacity.

"Proliferation of private coal mining will severely compromise the rights and safety of the workers deployed in private mining; further withdrawal of all restriction in the pricing of coal and their end-use will increase the burden on the people many times".

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When asked if companies would be allowed to sell coal abroad, Goyal said it is unlikely that there would be exports, although there are no restrictions on overseas sales.

West Bengal, Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, and Madhya Pradesh are the major coal bearing sates. A 2017 report by the government think tank Niti Aayog and The Institute of Energy Economics, Japan, says that coal will fulfill about 42-50 percent of India's energy needs in the next 30 years.

The All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) also strongly opposes the decision of the Centre to start commercial coal mining, saying it will serve the interest of capitalists of Indian and foreign origin.

Coal India officials said that the company has a mandate to supply at least 75 per cent of the production to the power sector and the rest can be offered to others like cement and steel; however, the private miners are most likely to be exempted from the clause.

"The amount accrued through the bids will be in addition to the royalty that the States get".

Shares of COAL INDIA LTD. was last trading in BSE at Rs.310.25 as compared to the previous close of Rs. 304.65.

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