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India invites investment in coal sector

Business

In an effort to boost up growth in coal production, India is inviting foreign investment in the areas of modernization and technology upgradation of coal sector. Indian coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal while addressing a road show in Hong Kong said foreign investor can participate in these efforts by making investment in coal mining and related infrastructure.

Jaiswal briefed the investors about the efforts being made by India to accelerate its economy by making more investment in infrastructure sector like power, railways, roads, shipping, civil aviation and coal. He said that in order to achieve the set targets of additional 18,000 megawatt capacity of power generation in 2012-13; about 580 million tonnes coal will be available from domestic sources during the current financial year itself.

Jaiswal said: “Prime Minister himself has been reviewing the status of progress of the set targets in various sectors particularly new airports and up-gradation of dedicated freight corridors, ports and highways. Efforts are being made to create congenial environment for investors enabling achievements of the cumulative targets in developing the infrastructures in the shape of `Public-Private Participation`.” India needs about $1 trillion over the next five years for developing infrastructures and the government is well aware that such a huge investment is possible only when sentiments of the investors are taken care of, he added.

While briefing about the public and private participation in coal sector in India, Jaiswal apprised the investors about availability of huge coal reserves in India, which continues to be the main source for increasing need for power generation. He mentioned that since 1993, the Indian government allowed coal mining for end-use by public and private sector players, particularly for power generation and for consumption at iron, steel, cement plants etc. “This has resulted in huge expectations of addition of power generation and iron and steel production capacity. The government also allocated coal blocks for coal gasification and coal to liquid. Large numbers of coal blocks are being developed for production by such players,” he said.

The current level of coal production of 580 million tonnes expected during the current year is likely to shot up to 780 million tonnes by 2016-17. “Still efforts are needed to have huge investments that would yield results and benefits to the nation and the investors as well. Coal sector in India holds tremendous promising avenues for the investors in safe environment,” he added.

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