The government of India has set up a coordination panel of central and state officials to speed up coal project clearances.
The new committee has been launched at a time when state-owned Coal India (CIL), which accounts for over 80% of domestic coal production, is waiting for environment and forestry clearances related to its 241 coal projects.
The committee will “act as the coordinating agency for monitoring and expediting environment and forests for expediting FCA (Forest Conservation Act) clearances”, according to a document from the Coal Ministry.
Chaired by Coal Secretary S. K. Srivastava, the committee intends to “monitor and facilitate coordination for timely and early completion of procedures […] At the state level with regard to coal mine projects in the public and private sector and suggest measures for improving the same."
"Any particular issue pertaining to the coal sector that is referred to it by the ministry shall also be deliberated upon/monitored by the committee," the ministry concluded.
The committee shall comprise of principal secretaries from coal producing states and representatives from ministries including the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Steel, and Power.
The Coal Ministry will act as secretariat for the committee, which will meet once every three months.
Edited from various sources by Katie Woodward
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