India and Australia would further explore the possibilities to increase bilateral cooperation and collaboration in coal sector, which will include transfer of technology for underground mining and facilitating invest in Indian coal sector. This was decided at a meeting between Sriprakash Jaiswal, minister of coal and Australian minister for resources and energy and minister for tourism Martin Ferguson in New Delhi today.
During discussion today both the countries decided to have meeting of joint coal task force in December this year to review the bilateral cooperation in identified areas under the action plan signed between the countries in May this year. It was felt that there is a big scope to strengthen cooperation in the area of coal technology reducing emission, rehabilitation of abandoned coal mines, and extraction of deep seated coal resources and to facilitate investment in coal mining areas.
India and Australia also signed the Coal Action Plan 2011-14 and set up a joint task force to strengthen cooperation in coal sector.
During the meeting, Secretary Coal, Shri Alok Perti and senior officials of the ministry were also present.
Meanwhile, the union coal ministry has allowed Coal India to buy stakes in foreign unlisted companies, paving the way for the world's largest coal miner to revisit its offer first made to such entities two years ago.
The Maharatna PSU had come out with an expression of interest in 2009 seeking to buy stakes in foreign companies.
As many as 54 companies from Australia, the US, Indonesia and South Africa had responded to the offer. Although CIL had begun talks with three listed entities, it had left out some seven to eight companies that were unlisted.