Government not to reconstitute GoM for opening up coal sector

The government has decided not to reconstitute the group of ministers (GoM) formed for evolving a consensus on opening up of coal sector for commercial mining. Former finance minister Pranab Mukherjee had headed the group.

PTI quoted a top coal ministry official as saying that the cabinet secretariat had decided that the GoM (constituted to obtain a general agreement on opening of coal sector for commercial mining) was not being reconstituted.

According to the official, the cabinet secretariat had conveyed this to the coal ministry almost a fortnight back.

At present, only PSUs are allowed to undertake mining while firms are permitted to extract coal only for captive use.

The six-member ministerial panel, set up in 2009, included former finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal, mines minister Dinsha Patel and Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia among others.

Earlier, according to coal minister Jaiswal, the government, as part of the energy sector reforms, was trying to evolve a consensus on commercial coal mining to promote the sector's development.