The Ministry of Coal launched a Single Window Clearance Portal recently.
About the portal
- Single Window Clearance Portal is a unified platform that facilitates grant of clearances and approvals required for starting a coal mine in India
- It is aimed at allowing successful bidders for coal blocks to be able to obtain all required clearances, including environmental and forest clearances, from a single portal with progress monitoring, instead of having to go to multiple authorities.
- It is part of a commercial coal mining that has been allowed recently, i.e, execution of agreements with successful bidders of India’s first ever commercial coal mine auctions.
- According to the Ministry, Single Window Clearance Portal is in the spirit of Minimum Government and Maximum Governance. It would be a milestone for Ease of Doing Business in the Indian Coal Sector
- The Mining Plan module of the portal was launched recently and the modules related to other clearances will be added in phases.
Significance of the portal
Presently, about 19 major approval or clearances are required to be obtained before starting a coal mine in the country.
Some of them include approval of Mining Plan and Mine Closure Plan, Grant of Mining Lease, Environment and Forest Clearances, Wild Life Clearance, Clearances related to Safety, Environment, Rehabilitation of project affected families, welfare of workers etc.
These approvals or clearances are granted either by central or state governments. In the absence of a unified platform for grant of clearances/approvals for starting of a coal mine, the project proponents are required to approach different administrative ministries and Government departments separately to apply for the requisite clearances leading to delay in operationalization of coal mines.
Now, the complete process shall be facilitated through Single Window Clearance Portal, which will map not only the relevant application formats, but also process flow for grant of approval or clearances.
Commercial coal mining in India and its significance
- The Coal Ministry also executed agreements with the 19 successful bidders of India’s first ever commercial mining auctions that includes Vedanta Ltd, Adani Enterprises Ltd, Jindal Power Ltd, Hindalco Industries Ltd along with other successful bidders.
- The success of India’s first ever commercial mining auctions will pave the way for the Aatmanirbhar Bharat as it will help reduce India’s coal import by about 20%.
- SBI Capital Markets Limited, sole Transaction Advisor to Ministry of Coal for the Commercial coal mine auction, had devised the methodology and assisted the Ministry in conducting the auction.
- States will garner a total revenue of Rs 6,656 crores annually from these successfully auctioned 19 mines. With fierce competition in the auction, the highest premium remained at 66.75% and the average premium at 27%.
- These mines are spread over 05 states Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Jharkhand and Maharashtra and have consolidated Peak Rated Capacity (PRC) of 51 Million Tonnes Per Annum (MTPA).