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Key takeaways from FM Sitharaman's fourth tranche of the economic stimulus

The eight sectors in which reforms are to be introduced are coal, minerals, defence production, aviation, power discoms in UTs, space technology and atomic energy

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Nirmala Sitharaman | Coronavirus | Finance minister

Kanishka Gupta  |  New Delhi 

today announced the fourth tranche of the Rs 20-trillion economic package, focused largely on structural reforms across eight sectors of the economy.

The eight sectors in which reforms are to be introduced are coal, minerals, defence production, aviation (that is airspace management; airports; and maintenance, repair & overhaul, or MRO), power distribution companies in Union territories, space technology and atomic energy.

Let’s begin with the coal sector:

In order to end the government's monopoly in coal mining, the FM waved the green flag for commercial mining on a revenue-sharing basis. Apart from that, she allowed liberalised entry of players with incentives. She said, given the fact that coal sector is adequately endowed with resources, it will not be subject to any regulations.

Incentives will be given for gasification of coal, while CBM or Coal Bed Methane extraction will happen through auctions.

Sitharaman added that an amount of Rs 50,000 crore will be spent by the government to build evacuation infrastructure.

Next, we come to measures related to minerals:

A seamless composite exploration-production-mining system will be put in place under which 500 open blocks will be allotted for exploration. Besides, there will also be a joint auction of bauxite and blocks.

The distinction between captive and non-captive mines will be removed and transfer of mining leases will be allowed.

Sitharaman also said that the Ministry of Mines is in the process of developing a mineral index and that stamp duty will be rationalised till the award of mining leases.

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First Published: Sat, May 16 2020. 22:20 IST
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