Coal India’s capital outlay seen rising to Rs 9,500 cr

10 February 2020

Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman may have said in her speech the government will advise utilities to shut down old and polluting thermal power plants, the capital outlay allocated to state-run miner Coal India has been raised by over 18% to Rs 9,500 crore next financial year (2020-21).

The company, among the largest producers of the dirty fuel globally, has been able to spend Rs 8,000 crore in the current financial year as against the budget estimate of Rs 10,000 crore, the Expenditure Budget document shows.

The coal ministry has budgeted for an overall capital outlay of Rs 18,467 crore for 2020-21, a marginal increase over the revised estimate for the current fiscal at Rs 18,121 crore. Apart from Coal India, the capital outlay for lignite miner NLC India for 2020-21 stands at Rs 6,667 crore and the outlay for Singareni Collieries (SCCL) have been budgeted at Rs 2,300 crore.

This year’s budget has also allocated Rs 700 crore under the head “Exploration of Coal and Lignite”. The provision is meant for preliminary drilling to assess coal availability to meet the sizeable increase in the demand for coal. The scheme is implemented by Central Mine Planning and Design Institute Limited (CMPDIL).

“The provision also provides for detailed drilling in the non-CIL coal mining blocks so that the geological reports generated may help the prospective investors in taking investment decisions regarding coal mining and reduction of time for preparation of mining plan. This step would promote private investment in the coal mining industry,” the expenditure budget document said.