Centre's Move On Coal Mining To Take Us Back To Old System: Jharkhand Chief Minister

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 Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren

Hemant Soren said Jharkhand has moved top court challenging Centre's decision. (FILE)

Ranchi (Jharkhand):

Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren on Saturday said that the centre took the decision to auction coal blocks for commercial mining in a rush.

"This will take us back to the old system which we came out of. I think the Centre took this decision in a rush," he said.

Mr Soren said that the Jharkhand government has moved the Supreme Court challenging the Central government's decision to unveil the process for the virtual auction of coal blocks for commercial mining.

"The state government has moved the Supreme Court challenging centre's decision. This is a very big policy decision. The state government should have been taken in confidence," he said.

"I think the Central Government has taken the decision in a hurry. The whole world is under the chains of lockdown. This process seems less beneficial to us," he added.

Jharkhand Advocate General Rajiv Ranjan said that the state government moved a writ petition in the top court on Friday contending that the decision to auction the coal blocks, some of which are in Jharkhand, will not benefit the state in the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Modi had launched the auction of 41 coal mines for commercial mining and reiterated his call for India to become self-reliant in energy by reducing imports.

This comes as despite having the world's fourth-largest coal reserves and being the second-largest producer, the country is the second-largest importer of coal.

The rollout of commercial coal mining is part of the series of announcements made by the Centre under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan. It is expected to boost private sector participation which will, in turn, lead to higher production and enhance competition.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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