ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Winds of Competition

Where Mergers Are Needed Magnus writes: GOVERNMENT recently announced its intention to legislate for amalgamation of collieries. The main purpose is to ensure that reserves of good quality coal are not lost through piecemeal extraction. The proposal is certainly along correct lines and, if it is carefully planned and implemented, it can bring great long-term benefits. The major coalfields of Raniganj and Jharia were developed in the flush of early industrialisation in Bengal and Bihar, and contain vast coal reserves. However, only in the last two decades was it realised that coking-grade coal would be exhausted unless rationed out to industries which really need it. Coal production is currently about 74 million tonnes per year, of which 17 mn tonnes are coking coal, 2.5 mn tonnes blendable coal, and the rest is of poorer qualities. This proportion will have to change substantially in the future years through better coal-burning technology, but the output of coking coal cannot be reduced in absolute terms.

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