Two years after coal mining zones were divided between ‘go and no-go’, the government is now set to scrap the policy.
The Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) along with the Ministry of Coal had formulated the policy guidelines. MoEF said that ‘go and no-go’ did not have any legal sanctity, according to media reports.
This has been expected since Jayanti Natarajan took over from Jairam Ramesh. The policy of ‘go and no-go’ was formulated under the tenure of Jairam Ramesh.
In its bid to save the environment of the country, the MoEF had barred companies from extracting coal from dense forest.
Now a group of ministers will allow companies to mine coal in dense forest areas, overturning an environment ministry ban, according to two sources to Bloomberg.
There are reports that the applications for coal mining could be considered on a case-by-case basis. Such a The decision will directly benefit companies including Coal India (COAL), the world’s largest producer of the commodity, Essar Power and Hindalco Industries (HNDL).
The cabinet referred this issue of coal mining in forest area to the government panel, BK Chaturvedi Committee, in January. The Panel said that the go-no policy has no legal sanctity, and forest clearance should be based on the Forest Clearance Act.
Planning Commission data points that the power sector could be losing potential production of 143,000 mw of power due to the MoEF policy.
This would be a good opportunity to buy coal companies and those that are dependant upon coal.