1. Since the beginning of industrialization in the 19th century, coal has had a significant impact on the world’s energy supply. To this day, coal is still one of the leading energy sources amongst all the fossil fuels. India too, has had a long history of commercial coal mining spanning over 240 years. Started in 1774 by East India Company in the Raniganj Coalfield along the western bank of river Damodar, the Indian coal industry has consistently evolved over the ages.
With the enactment of the Coal Mines Act, 1973, all coal mines in India were nationalized, which otherwise, had primarily been a private sector enterprise. Subsequently, Coal India Limited (CIL) was constituted as a new public-sector company on 01 Nov 75, to enable better organizational and operational efficiency in the coal sector. CIL is now the world’s largest coal-producing company, which produced 554.14 Million Tons (MT) in 2016 – 17, contributing to 84% of the country’s entire coal output.
However, the monopoly over commercial mining that state-owned Coal India enjoyed since nationalisation in 1973, was broken by the government in Feb 18, by permitting private firms to enter the commercial coal mining industry.