Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday addressed her fourth press conference to unveil the next tranche of funds as part of India’s Rs 20 lakh crore economic package. The fourth tranche of the economic package focused on eight sectors - coal, mining, aerospace, MRO (Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul), defence production, power distribution in Union Territories, Space, and atomic energy.
The Finance Minister said that there is a need to reduce import of substitutable coal and increase self-reliance in coal production and added that the government is bringing commercial mining in the coal sector. CM on coal on a revenue-sharing basis would help more coal availability at market prices. She further announced Rs. 50,000 crore to bring in reforms in the coal sector.
"There will be liberalised entry for people to participate for a range of coal blocks, government will introduce competition, transparency, and private sector participation in the Coal Sector through revenue sharing mechanism instead of the regime of fixed rupee/tonne. This means, now, any party can bid for a coal block and sell in the open market," said the Finance Minister.
"Entry norms will be liberalised. The government will offer nearly 50 blocks immediately with no eligibility conditions, but only upfront payment with a ceiling," she added.
Furthermore, Nirmala Sitharaman announced sectoral reform for mining of minerals, which will boost growth, employment and bring state-of-the-art technology, especially in exploration.
"The government will introduce a seamless composite exploration-cum-mining-production regime. 500 mining blocks will be offered through an open and transparent auction process. The goverment will also introduce a joint auction of bauxite and coal mineral blocks to enhance aluminum industry's competitiveness. This will help the industry reduce electricity costs," said Sitharaman.
"Distinction between captive, non-captive mines will be removed and a mineral index will be made. Stamp duty to be rationalised," she added.