Govt allows commercial coal mining by PSUs

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The government on Wednesday approved allotment of coal blocks to public sector entities for commercial mining, taking the industry a step closer to complete deregulation and allowing private entry.

The decision, though limited to selling the commercially-mined coal to small and medium and cottage enterprises, marks the first big-ticket reform in the sector after blocks were auctioned last year on a prompt from the Supreme Court.

Coal mining for commercial sale has remained a monopoly of state-run Coal India, the world’s largest miner of the Black Diamond. Private companies are allowed to mine coal only for specific captive use, which is clearly defined during allotment of mines.

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