January 19, 2020

CITU Denounces Govt Move to End Provisions of Captive Mining of Coal

THE Centre of Indian Trade Unions, in a statement issued on January 9, has condemned the retrograde decision of the central government to promulgate ordinance to amend further the Mines & Mineral Development (Development & Regulation) Act and Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act (MMDR Act and CMSP Act) with the purpose of ending the very concept of captive mining of coal to meet the raw material needs of certain crucial industries like steel, power, aluminum, fertilizers etc for which coal is an essential raw material.

Such a decision will be disastrous for the concerned industries which are the backbone of the national economy. Enactment of both the Acts in the first tenure of the Narendra Modi government which facilitates aggressive privatisation of the entire mining sector and allows commercial mining of coals even in captive mines, were by themselves a retrograde decision damaging the basic interests of the national economy.

Now, amending both the Acts further removes completely the restriction of end use relating to raw material requirements of vital industries. This move helps private players, both foreign and domestic, to bid for the allocations of mine-blocks. This will convert these natural resources virtually and wholly into items for trade and commerce including exports, ignoring their essential necessity as raw material for the core and strategic sector industries. Such a decision is also going to hit the economic viability of the public sector company, Coal India Ltd, in the background of free entry of 100 per cent FDI in commercial mining of coal. The new coal bearing areas identified through research and exploration process by CMPDIL and Geological Survey will flow more to the private sector players depriving the Coal India Ltd from continuing replenishment of its exhausted mines.

CITU denounces this move of the government which is going to have a fatal impact on the industries wholly depending on coal as raw material. This decision, given the trend and destructive mindset of the government, is going to be replicated for iron-ore mines also. Excuses being made by the government that this decision will reduce coal import,are totally untenable and illusory. Rather, this is going to expand the grip and control of foreign players with Indian private contractors as their junior partners, on the country’s vital mineral resources, much to the detriment of our national interests.

CITU calls upon the working class and democratic people to oppose and resist such a destructive move of the government which has taken an ordinance route to make this change. United struggle to combat this disastrous move, both at industry and national level, is the way before us.