Wednesday, February 6, 2019

India Ramps Up Spending On Coal Exploration

India Ramps Up Spending On Coal Exploration
Reuters, Feb 1 2019,

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – The Indian government will increase spending on exploration of coal and lignite by 20 percent in the coming financial year but will slash funding for coal mine safety and conservation, according to the budget document released on Friday.

India is one of the world’s largest consumers of coal and rising imports of the fuel are adding to a burgeoning trade deficit, prompting the government to invest in developing more domestic resources.
In the 2019/20 financial year that begins in April, the government aims to spend 6 billion rupees ($84 million) on exploration of coal and lignite, the document for the 2019/20 budget showed.

At the same time, it will cut spending on conservation, safety and related infrastructure development by about a third from last year to 1.35 billion rupees, according to the document.

India is one of the most dangerous countries in the world to be a coal miner, with one miner dying every six days on average in 2017, according to government data, but this will be the second straight year that the government has cut spending on safety.

The coal ministry said that coal companies had their own safety budgets….

The coal ministry said it had increased spending for exploration in 2019/20 to develop more coal blocks to increase domestic coal production and minimize imports.

“This will also enable (the) release of more coal blocks for auction/allocation,” the ministry said.


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