New guidelines, simplified approval process for coal projects to enhance ease of doing business

New Delhi: The Ministry of Coal said in a Press communication today that, in sync with the Government’s commitment for ‘Ease of doing business’, the Ministry has decided to simplify the process of clearance for coal mining projects, adding that not only will this will expedite operationalisation of already allotted coal blocks, but also encourage prospective investors and bidders in future auctions.

The Ministry has re-engineered the mining plan preparation and approval process. This is likely to slash the approval period substantially from existing 90 days to about 30 days. The re-engineering process includes simplification of guidelines & format for preparation of the mining plan, amendments in relevant provisions of Mineral Concession Rules, 1960, and approval process.

The proposed simplified guidelines and format reduce the mining plan formulation time and make the document lighter and easier to comprehend, which will further facilitate hosting the soft copy in an accessible data base.

The proposed system of mining plan preparation and approval allows the lessee to get the plan prepared by the Mining Plan Preparing Agency (MPPA), then have it certified by the Mining Plan Certifying Agency (MPCA) and submit the mining plan to the Ministry for approval. This is expected to improve the quality, and reduce time for detailed scrutiny.

To ensure the quality of preparation of mining plans, a Government approved accrediting body will accredit agency(s) consisting of a team of multi-disciplinary background, which will be recognised for preparation of mining plans and for certification (i.e. scrutiny from geo-mining & techno-administrative angles).

The Government will accredit agency(s) consisting of multi-disciplinary domain experts, who will certify that the mining plan prepared by MPPA is in line with the prevailing guidelines and complete in all respects. On certification by the MPCA, a committee in the Government will consider the mining plans for approval and the Government will dispose of the application within the stipulated period.

In the next phase, to further ease the system, the entire mining plan approval process is proposed to be made online for application, processing, and approval. This system will ultimately interact with the PARIVESH portal of the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change and similar portals of other related Ministries and organisations of the Central and State Governments.

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The ID Staff

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