Jharkhand Moves SC to Stop Coal Block Auction

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Jharkhand Moves SC to Stop Coal Block Auction

  • Recently Prime Minister kicked off the coal block auction process for the commercial mining to achieve self-sufficiency in energy and boosting industrial development.
  • But the Jharkhand government has challenged the step in the Supreme Court.
  • The ground of challenge is that due to pandemic situation market price will not be fetched during the auction.
  • Also, commercial mining will devastate the lives of tribals.

Overview

  • The state government said that the legal vacuum has been created by the lapse of the Mineral Laws (Amendment) Act, 2020, on May 20.
  • As there was no law to guide mining activities, the auction decision was illegal.
  • The state government also said that before taking a decision to open the auction process, the Union government did not take an account of adverse social and environmental impact on
    • Tribals
    • Vast tracts of forest land in the state
    • Its residents
  • Due to COVID-19, a negative global investment climate is prevailing.
  • Thus, reasonable returns proportionate to the value of scarce natural resource through the impugned auctions for commercial coal mining cannot be fetched.
  • The Centre has decided to start the auction of 41 coal blocks for commercial mining.
  • The auction is open for domestic as well as global firms under 100 % FDI route.
  • The auction process is aimed at making India self-reliant in energy sector.
  • As the decision taken by Union government is a huge policy decision and the respective state governments needed to be taken into confidence.
  • The blocks are located in
    • Madhya Pradesh
    • Chhattisgarh
    • Jharkhand
    • Odisha
    • Maharashtra

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