Coal Shortage
Representational Image.Reuters File

Lok Sabha on Friday passed the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Bill 2014 introduced by the Coal Minister seeking provision for allowing commercial mining in the country along with re-allocation of cancelled coal mines that are operational.

The Bill will allow re-allocation of 72 operational coal mines, which will be utilised for end usage in power, steel and cement sector by February 2015.

The provisions that the government has included in the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Bill 2014, are (Nationalisation) (CMN) Act 1973 and the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act 1957, Business Standard reported.

Section 3A in the Coal Mine Nationalisation (CMN) Act will allow joint ventures between central and state governments and their companies, and companies that are willing to carry out mining operations in India "in any form either for own consumption, sale or for any other purpose". The countries from outside will need a licence provided by the state government.

The Bill replaces the ordinance which was brought in the wake of the Supreme Court order cancelling the allocation of 204 coal blocks on 24 September and resetting the agenda for their re-allocation, according to a PTI report.

A nominated body, appointed by the Centre, will monitor the possession of lands of coal mining projects and will have power to "direct the prior allottees provide the requisite manpower, as may be necessary, to ensure continuity in coal mining operations and production of coal".

The Supreme Court had earlier this year cancelled over 200 coal blocks saying they were illegally allocated.

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