Power shortage- India - 2012 • Indian Prime Minister approved a decision in July 2005 that the ministry of coal should continue to allot blocks for captive mining through the screening committee procedure until competitive bidding was made operational. • The minutes of a meeting chaired by then principal secretary to the Prime Minister, revealed that the then coal minister, went with the decision because he expected delays in implementing competitive bidding. • When asked for comments, the PMO cited an answer by the PM in Parliament: “It was noted that the Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Act, 1973 will need to be amended before the proposed competitive bidding procedure becomes operational. • This is likely to take considerable time and the process of allotment of coal blocks for captive mining cannot be kept in abeyance for so long.” • Coal India (CIL) has been steadily increasing its production every year. From 70 or so million tons in the early 1970s, CIL's production rose to about 430 million tons around 2009. • And then, it abruptly plateaued. In the next three years, it added just 4-5 million tons. It is reported that amid the controversy over the coal mine allocations to private companies, fresh details are emerging on how the government own departments and ministries especially the coal ministry are delaying critical projects with assured fuel supplies from state-owned Coal India Ltd. Banks have told the finance ministry last week that investments worth INR 1,24,745 crore mostly linked to coal mines of CIL and its sister companies are stuck due to various regulatory, procedural and environmental hurdles.
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