An inter-disciplinary committee comprised of officials from Coal India Ltd, the railway ministry, the heavy industries ministry, NLC India Ltd, and NTPC Ltd, among others, has recommended encouraging domestic mining equipment manufacturing through incentive schemes, standardisation, and specific tendering clauses. This gains importance because coal is expected to remain the dominant energy source beyond 2030. The committee anticipates a significant demand for equipment over the next ten years.
According to a government release, the committee also included representatives from Singareni Collieries Company Ltd, West Bengal Power Development Corporation Ltd, Bharat Earth Movers Ltd, Caterpillar India Pvt Ltd, Tata Hitachi, Gainwell India, and industry associations.
The committee has suggested the standardisation of equipment in line with Coal India's existing equipment standardisation effort, the government said.
It has also stated that tender clauses should encourage the use of domestic equipment. A proposal was made to incentivize manufacturers to design, develop, and manufacture equipment in India for five years as part of the Make in India initiative.
Coal India currently imports high-capacity equipment worth 3,500 crore, including electric rope shovels, hydraulic shovels, dumpers, crawler dozers, and others, with an additional 1,000 crore in customs duty.