The Central government announced the promulgation of the ordinance for amendment in the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) (MMDR) Act, 1957 and the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, 2015. Ordinance: On 11 January 2019, the Union Cabinet approved the promulgation of Mineral Laws (Amendment) Ordinance 2020. The ordinance aims to ease the auction of coal mines, allow Foreign direct investment (FDI) and enhance ease of doing business. Provisions of the Ordinance: The amendments Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, 2015 will offer unexplored and partially explored coal blocks for mining through prospecting license-cum-mining lease (PL-cum-ML). It will enable any India-registered company to invest in the coal mining sector and develop coal blocks. The companies must have prior experience of mining in India to bid for the blocks. It will allow FDI in the coal mining sector by removing the restrictions and eligibility criteria for participation. Easing restrictions on end-user is expected to open up the coal sector for commercial mining for all local and global firms. GoI expects to attract investments from Indian and global corporates as Coal India has been tasked to produce one billion tonnes by 2023-24.
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