The recent Cabinet decision to open up coal mining to commercial miners, who will now have the freedom to sell coal in the open market, is an interesting development.

For decades since its nationalisation, the public sector Coal India Limited (CIL) has dominated coal production in India, producing some 82 per cent of Indian domestic coal (figures from financial year 2014-15), and becoming the largest coal miner in the world by production.Commercial coal mining in India: A possible but not irrefutable game changer