The President Pranab Mukherjee on 26 December 2014 signed Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Ordinance to facilitate e-auction of coal blocks. He signed the ordinance in accordance with the Article 123 of the Constitution.
Earlier, Union Cabinet had approved the re-promulgation of the Ordinance to facilitate e-auction of coal blocks for private companies for captive use and allot mines directly to state and central Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs).
The re-promulgation of ordinance on coal blocks was approved by the Union Cabinet after Union government was not able to get the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Bill, 2014 passed in Rajya Sabha in the winter session of Parliament in 2014. Though, Lok Sabha had passed the bill.
The re-promulgation of the Ordinance will enable the Union coal ministry approve 101 mines, including 65 through auction, in the first phase. Among 101 blocks, 63 mines would be given to the power sector, while the rest would be for sectors like steel and cement. As many as 36 blocks will be directly allotted to state-owned companies.
Besides, President Pranab Mukherjee also signed ordinance on insurance allowing 100 percent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in medical devices in the pharmaceutical sector and 49 percent FDI in Insurance Sector.
When: 23 December 2014