Commercial mining: SC refuses to interfere with Centre’s decision to auction Jharkhand coal blocks

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Published: July 7, 2020 12:01 AM

Prime Minister Narender Modi had last month launched the auction of 41 coal mines under the new regime, under which the private miners would be sharing revenues with the government.

The rollout of commercial coal mining, which is part of the series of announcements made by the Centre under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, is expected to boost private sector participation.

The Supreme Court on Monday refused to interfere for now with the Centre’ s decision to auction Jharkhand coal blocks for commercial mining. It posted the matter for further hearing next week after senior counsel AM Singhvi, appearing for the Jharkhand government, informed the Bench that the state government has also filed a petition and that should be heard along with the writ petition.

The Jharkhand government had last week moved the apex court challenging the central government’s decision on the ground that the auction will not benefit the state and will rather result in loss in the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic. Besides, proper assessment on adverse impact on a huge tribal population and forests had not been done, it stated, adding that even the respective state governments have not been taken into confidence while taking a huge policy decision. The blocks are located in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha and Maharashtra.

Prime Minister Narender Modi had last month launched the auction of 41 coal mines under the new regime, under which the private miners would be sharing revenues with the government. Modi had reiterated his call for India to become self-reliant in energy by reducing imports.

The rollout of commercial coal mining, which is part of the series of announcements made by the Centre under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, is expected to boost private sector participation.

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