Black and dirty: the real challenges facing India’s coal sector

This report presents a broad overview of the coal sector, highlights key challenges and provides suggestions on overcoming them. It calls for an independent regulator to look after planning and execution, transparency mechanisms alongwith the compliance to environmental norms.

The coal sector, which contributes over half of India’s primary commercial energy, has recently been beset with controversies such as the ‘coal-gate’ scam and insufficient coal production leading to questions about who should bear the increased costs of coal imports. This report presents a broad overview of the coal sector with the objective of highlighting the key challenges to be overcome and provides some suggestions on how this can be done. The study reveals that weaknesses in accountability mechanisms, planning and execution, transparency mechanisms and monitoring and oversight are some of the fundamental challenges faced by the Indian coal sector. Moreover, there is no silver bullet to address these challenges. Instead, a comprehensive, multi-pronged approach involving all stakeholders is required. The report gives some suggestions for such an approach. It is hoped that this report will contribute to a more informed debate about the fundamental challenges before the Indian coal sector and initiatives needed to address them.

See Also

Audit: Performance audit on allocation of coal blocks.

Report: Rehabilitation and resettlement by Coal India Ltd.

Report: Prevention of illegal coal mining

Audit: CSR of Coal India Ltd.

Report: The Indian coal sector.

Report: Role of thermal power plants & coal mining in local area development.

Report: The dynamics of importing coal.

Bill: The Coal Mines (Conservation And Development) Amendment Bill, 2012.