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Centre Will Introduce PLI For Underground Mining Equipment

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To boost domestic manufacturing and reduce import costs, the government will launch a five-year PLI scheme for mining machinery, transforming India’s coal mining industry.

The government is expected to introduce a Five-Year Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for underground mining equipment and heavy earth-moving machinery by 2025-26. This scheme aims to enhance the country’s untapped underground coal mining sector, according to a report by Financial Express.

The draft of the scheme is currently awaiting discussion with the concerned ministries and final approval by the government.

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With the new PLI initiative, the government aims to encourage domestic manufacturing of heavy earth-moving machinery and reduce costs incurred by imports.

At present, Coal India imports high-capacity machinery for its mining operations, including electric rope shovels, hydraulic shovels, dumpers, crawler dozers, drills, motor graders, and front-end loaders.

The cost of these machines is around Rs 35 billion, with an additional Rs 10 billion spent on customs duties, as previously reported by the government.

Last year, Coal India led a committee to boost domestic production of heavy machinery and mining equipment. The committee recommended standardising equipment to enhance manufacturing for mine operators and contractors.

According to the government, CIL has already begun acquiring advanced heavy earthmovers and continuous miners with remote supervision and real-time tracking for improved efficiency and safety.

Domestic manufacturers have been selected to produce mining equipment for both open-cast and underground mining, alongside enhancing technology and capacity.

The government has also emphasised prioritising partnerships with global equipment manufacturers. To maintain productivity, there is now a focus on using domestically made equipment extensively in coal production, transportation, and monitoring.

This initiative is also expected to decrease downtime for imported equipment, often caused by a lack of spare parts.

The government expects coal to remain the main energy source beyond 2030 due to rising power demand, anticipating a significant need for mining equipment in both opencast and underground mines over the next decade.

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