October 20, 2014 / 4:47 PM / 3 years ago

FACTBOX-India pushes ahead with coal reforms

NEW DELHI, Oct 20 (Reuters) - India moved on Monday to open up its coal industry to commercial mining, signalling the most serious shift in 42 years toward allowing private players full participation in the sector.

Here are some of the steps the government plans to take in its coal reform push:

* The industry will be opened as and when required, but has no timeline has been set. A provision to allow commercial mining is part of an executive order known as an ordinance.

*The executive order must get the president’s approval, which is a formality. It must be approved by parliament within a few months, otherwise the order lapses.

* No foreign companies will be allowed to do commercial mining.

* Coal-bearing land will be taken back from private companies whose mining licences were cancelled by the Supreme Court last month.

* The government will then hold an electronic auction of the mines for steel, power and other companies for their own consumption.

* Companies that will give up some of mines after the court order - such as Jindal Steel and Power Ltd, Sesa Sterlite and Hindalco - will also be able to take part in the auctions.

* An e-auction of coal blocks for private companies will be held in three to four months

* No changes will be made the structure of state owned Coal India. A plan to increase production quickly remains in force.

* Lower-than-expected supply from Coal India means 64 out of 103 power plants had coal for less than a week as of last week. (Reporting by Krishna N Das; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel, Larry King)

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