Nationalisation of coal mines was undertaken in the 1970s to end unscientific mining practices and poor working conditions of labour in the private coal mines in the country. In 2014, the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India cancelled 204 coal mine/blocks which had been allocated to the various Government and private Companies since 1993 under the provisions of Coal Mines (Nationalization) Act, 1973. In 2015, the Central Government brought in Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act to re-allocate these coal blocks. The Act was promulgated to provide for allocation of these coal mines and concomitant responsibilities like vesting of the rights, title and interest in and over the land and mine infrastructure together with mining leases to Successful Bidders and Allottees with a view to ensure continuity in coal mining operations and production of coal. Subsequently, the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, 2015 was passed by the Parliament which was notified as an Act on 30.03.2015.
Nominated Authority is appointed under the section 6(1) of the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, 2015 and has been vested with the overall responsibility as highlighted below:
- to conduct the auction process and allotment;
- execution of the vesting order for transfer and vesting of Schedule I coalmines pursuant to the auction;
- executing the allotment order for any Government company or corporation in pursuance of section 5;
- recording and mutating incorporeal rights of whatsoever nature including, consents, permissions, permits, approvals, grants, registrations; and collection of auction proceeds, adjustment of preferential payments and transfer of amount to the respective State Governments where Schedule I coal mine is located in accordance with the provisions of the CM(SP) Act.
- Operationalization of auctioned/allotted mines.
Indian Coal sector has been recently opened up for commercial mining by private sector and this move is expected to generate a host of benefits for all the stakeholders in coal mining. Till now 11th tranches of auction have been conducted and 104 mines are allocated.
M. Nagaraju, IAS, Additional Secretary has been appointed as the Nominated Authority since 31st January, 2020.