1-Nationalization of Coal:
- The decision to nationalize private coal mines was taken by the government keeping in mind the lack of adequate capital investment in the coal mining sector, adoption of unscientific methods of mining by private companies and the interests of the workers.
- Under this, through the ‘Coking Coal Mines (Emergency Provisions) Act, 1971’, ‘Coking Coal Mines (Nationalization) Act, 1972’ and ‘Coal Mines (Nationalization) Act, 1973’ in the years 1971-72 and 1973, all coal mines of the country The mines were nationalised.
2-Coal Production in India:
- India ranks 5th in the list of countries with the highest availability of coal reserves in the world.
- Presently local coal production in India is around 700-800 million tonnes per annum, while on an average around 150-200 million tonnes of coal is imported annually.
- More than 50% of the total electricity generated in the country comes from coal based units and coal has been a major source of energy in many other industrial sectors.
- Coal India Limited (CIL) was established in the year 1975 after the nationalization of coal in India in the year 1973.
- Presently the share of Coal India Limited in the total coal production of the country is about 82%.
- CIL was accorded ‘Mini Ratna’ by the Department of Public Enterprises, Government of India in 2006-07, ‘Navratna’ in 2008-09 and ‘Maharatna’ in April 2011.
3-Challenges of Indian Coal Production:
- Despite Coal India Limited being the world’s largest coal mining company, India imported 235 million tonnes of coal from abroad in the year 2019.
- Lack of new technology
- The non-incorporation of innovative technology in coal mining by CIL over time after the nationalization of coal in the country has made the mining process very slow and cumbersome.
- Not only has coal mining become expensive due to non-promotion of new technologies in the mining process, but the lack of new technologies is the biggest cause of accidents during mining.
- Lack of competition and investment:
- The pace of development of the mining sector has been very limited due to the presence of only one company in coal mining.
- Due to lack of expected growth in coal production, CIL’s revenue has come down, making it a challenge for the government to make massive investments for the development of the country’s coal sector.
- Investment in this sector has been very limited due to non-participation of private companies in the coal mining sector.
Read in Hindi: Distribution of coal in India-