Deputy Minister of Coal
Date of Birth: 25/09/1944
Place of Birth: Kanpur
India is seeking African supplies to cope with a looming coal shortage. Dependent on coal, India has large reserves – 58.6 billion tonnes in 2009 – but environmental regulations obstruct local mining. Coal India Ltd., the state-owned producer, has ,scaled back its targets. The shortfall will be made up by imports, though imported coal is costly after recent flooding in Australia and South Africa drove up prices.
Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal and CIL Chairman Partha Bhattacharya sought new coal assets on a 5-8 January trip to South Africa and Mozambique. They met Susan Shabangu, Minister of Mineral Resources, to request South African assistance in developing clean coal technology. With Esperança Bias, Mozambique’s Minister of Mineral Resources, the Indian visitors pressed for port and highway infrastructure to service CIL’s two blocks there. However, Maputo officials were reluctant to offer India more blocks, when its existing blocks are still two-to-three years away from production.
Born in 1944, Jaiswal attended DAV College in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. In 1982, he became Secretary of the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee, the Indian National Congress’s state-level unit. He was Mayor of Kanpur from 1989 to 1992 and in 1999, he won the first of three consecutive terms to the Lok Sabha, the lower house of parliament, for Kanpur. From 2004 to 2009, he was Home Affairs Minister. Promoted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to cabinet on 20 January, Jaiswal is determined to reform India’s coal sector with new rules to allow competitive bidding for coal fields. Alongside the auctions, Jaiswal’s ministry wants to set up a Coal Regulatory Authority to oversee the increased private participation in the energy sector.