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India should not crush its energy aspirations in quest to follow the West, coal minister Pralhad Joshi said today adding the country should make maximum use of its coal reserves while shifting to cleaner forms of energy.

Joshi said some groups often irresponsibly argue to shun coal, without assessing its implications.

He said the second tranche of commercial coal mining will begin this month, he said at an event to mark signing of agreements for pilot commercial coal mining  will begin this month, he said at an event to mark signing of agreements for pilot commercial coal mining blocks and launch of single window clearance portal.

According to the International Energy Agency and the US Energy Information Administration coal will continue to meet most of the world’s increasing energy needs over the next two decades. The demand for coal is projected to increase substantially over the next several decades, he said.
“Ours is a growing country in terms of population and GDP both. Still, it is noteworthy that our per capita CO2 emission is only 1.9 tonnes, contributing only 6.8% of global emissions. Since coal is the cheapest source to generate electricity and light up the homes of over 130 crore Indians, it provides the opportunity for achieving continual economic growth, increased incomes, higher living standards and poverty reduction,” Joshi said.
Home minister Amit Shah said coal will be the biggest contributor to India becoming $5 trillion economy.

Joshi said presentl about 19 major approval or clearances are required before starting a coal mine in the country. Single Window Clearance Portal is in the spirit of minimum government and maximum governance and would be a milestone for ease of doing business in the Indian coal sector.

In the absence of a unified platform for grant of clearances, the companies were required to approach different departments leading to delay in operationalisation of coal mines. Now, the complete process shall be facilitated through Single Window Clearance Portal in a phased way,” Joshi said.