India looking at technology in coal gasification to get clean energy: PM Modi

PTI

New York: Prime Minister Narendra Modi with CEO of Bloomberg Michael Bloomberg (L) at Global Business Forum in New York, Sept. 25, 2019. (PTI Photo)

New York: Prime Minister Narendra Modi with CEO of Bloomberg Michael Bloomberg (L) at Global Business Forum in New York, Sept. 25, 2019. (PTI Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday told a global business forum that his government is looking at ways and technology in coal gasification to ensure the natural resource is used by the country in a clean and environment-friendly manner to meet its energy requirements.

“This is right that the world’s third-largest coal reserves is in India. In a poor country like India, we cannot ignore it but there is a solution to it,” he said during a Q&A session at the Bloomberg Global Business Forum here.

“…we will have to change the ways of mining and we have to carry out underground mining so that it does not damage the environment,” Modi said.

During the interactive session, Bloomberg chief Michael Bloomberg asked Modi what India plans to do to reduce the amount of coal burnt in the country.

“The other solution is coal gasification. By doing coal gasification we can get clean energy. We are inviting other countries to come with their technology for use in coal gasification, whether it can be used in mobility,” he said.

“We cannot deny the resources and assets that India has but we want to see how can we make use of these assets in an environment-friendly way. That is what we are focusing on,” he said.

On how India will reach its ambitious target to become a USD five trillion economy and whether it will require additional reforms to boost foreign investment, Modi said today no country in the world can do “isolated activity”. “We are going through an inter-dependent era. We have to adopt global benchmarks.”

He said the first task for him is that all the laws, regulation, governance should be at par with global benchmarks so that it will help increase the confidence of investors.

“We are doing the necessary reforms in our laws and taking some initiatives as well,” he said, adding that the safety and security of investors on their investments is also very critical.

There are two things in India which distinguish it from the rest of the world – democracy and the judicial system, which is in the English language so investors from the countries like the US will have no problem in understanding the interpretation of the laws.

“These two factors create confidence for investors.”

India is also trying to make the country’s infrastructure ready for the next generation – with new airports, increase the speed of railway lines, electrification, better roads and give every family home.

The second area where India is focussed on is value-addition in the agriculture sector.

“We want to go towards food-processing in a big way. If India makes efforts, the country can become a food basket of the world,” he said, adding that India also wants to promote organic farming.

He underlined the country’s focus on healthcare, holistic living, digital India, optical fibre network in 600,00 villages, start-up infrastructure. It is the result of all these initiatives that our economy grew very rapidly.

“From a two trillion dollar economy, we went to three trillion dollars in five years and to reach five trillion dollars is not at all difficult. I am very sure that we will be able to achieve the five trillion dollar economy target.”

(PTI)