India Needs To Focus More On Coal To Power Growth, Says Nirmala Sitharaman

The finance minister said that we need greater investments also to help in gasification of coal

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Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, on Thursday, said that India needs to focus on coal for meeting the base load (minimum level of demand in the power grid) and gasification projects to ensure a smooth energy transition amid high gas prices.

Nirmala Sitharaman Twitter handle

While launching the largest round of coal block auctions with 141 mines, the minister said that, "We need greater investments also to help in gasification of coal. I invite all of you to energetically participate in the auction processes which have been launched today and keep your options further extended for greater extraction of minerals in India."

"A fast growing economy like India needs greater investment in coal production and gasification projects. Globally, energy prices especially that of gas is going up. India is at present the best investment destination in the world. Due to policy consistency and transparent process of the government, coal imports for power sector have come down by 41 per cent," said Sitharaman in a statement while launching sixth round of coal mine auction.

Coal and mines minister Pralhad Joshi said that the ministry is exploring alternative methodology for enhanced use of coal.

"Finance ministry has extended INR 6,000 crore incentive for coal gasification and INR 250 crore for exploration process. During the biggest auction undertaken so far, today 141 mines pertaining to eleven states have been auctioned," Joshi said in a statement.

"Key features of the auction process include reduction in upfront amount and bid security amount, permission to relinquish part of the coal mine in case of partially explored coal mines, introduction of national coal index and national lignite index, ease of participation with no entry barriers, full flexibility in coal utilisation, optimized payment structures, incentives for early production, coal gasification and usage of clean coal technologies," said the coal ministry in a release.