The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by the Honorable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today approved the continuation of the Central Sector Program of “Coal and Lignite Exploration Programme” with an estimated expenditure of Rs. 2980 crore from 2021-22 to 2025-26 coinciding with the 15th Finance Commission cycle.
Under this scheme, exploration for coal and lignite is conducted in two major phases: (i) promotional (regional) exploration and (ii) detailed exploration in non-Coal India Limited blocks.
The approval will provide an outlay of Rs.1650 crore for promotional (regional) exploration and Rs.1330 crore for detailed drilling in non-CIL areas. An area of approximately 1300 sq km will be covered by regional exploration and an area of approximately 650 sq km will be covered by detailed exploration.
Exploration of coal and lignite is necessary to prove and estimate the available coal resources in the country, which helps to prepare a detailed project report to start coal mining. The geological reports prepared through these explorations are used to auction off new coal blocks and the cost is later recouped from the successful allotment.