New Delhi: The government on Wednesday introduced a bill in the Lok Sabha to begin allocation of coal blocks that were cancelled by the Supreme Court.
The Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Bill, 2014, will replace an ordinance which outlines the procedure for auction of coal blocks that were cancelled by the Supreme Court in September 2014.
The bill was introduced by Power Minister Piyush Goyal.
Trinamool Congress MP Saugata Roy opposed the introduction of the bill, saying it opens the doors for denationalization of coal mines.
"It seeks to nullify the Coal Mines Nationalization Act, 1975," he said, adding it will give over the country's energy sector to private hands and will lead to exploitation of coal miners.
Goyal in his clarification said the Supreme Court has held the allocation of coal blocks through screening committee rules as arbitrary.
"It has certain consequences because of which allocation of coal blocks was cancelled. At that point of time the entire country was seized of the problem and there was fear that this will lead to lack in production of coal as well as lakhs of people would become jobless," he said.
"At that point, it was necessary for the government to take proactive measures," Goyal said, adding that the ordinance does not seek to denationalize coal mines.