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HomeEconomyJharkhand moves SC, challenging coal block auction for commercial mining

Jharkhand moves SC, challenging coal block auction for commercial mining

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched the auction of 41 coal blocks of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha and Maharashtra, on successful completion of which private miners would share revenue with the government

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The Jharkhand government has challenged the Centre’s decision to auction coal blocks for commercial at the Supreme Court, Chief Minister Hemant Soren said today. The chief minister said his government had requested the government to put the exercise on hold in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, but now they have decided to explore legal options as they did not get any adequate response from the Union government.

Soren said to journalists in Ranchi that the state government had moved the apex court as it was a bog policy decision where the Centre should have taken the states into confidence. “ has always been a contentious issue in the state. After a long time, a new process is being adopted, which will reinstate the system out of which we came out. Even in the existing system, the locals, landowners could not get their rightful entitlements. There are several issues related to land and displacement in the state,” Soren said.

“Several trade unions are out on the streets against the decision. We had requested the Centre not to take any decision in haste. But since we did not get any response to show that the process put in place is transparent and in the interest of the state, we decided to move SC,” he added.

Prime Minister on 18 June had launched the auction of 41 coal blocks under a new regime. Private miners will now share revenue with the government under the scheme.

The blocks the new rules apply to are in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha and Maharashtra.

Soren said the union government should have got a fair assessment of adverse social and environmental impact conducted in the state before implementing the new policy. “It seems the Centre is doing this in haste. It is difficult to understand as the entire world is under lockdown. The Centre is expecting foreign investment, but there are several issues including curbs on foreign travel now. Currently, the demand is also low as many industries are shut. So, I ’t find this process of any help now,” Soren added.

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