The Ministry of Coal of the Indian Government has approved 16 coal mines to be allotted to state and central public sector units (PSUs) to undertake commercial mining. The PSUs will be involved in the production and sale of the fossil fuel. Of the 16 blocks earmarked, five are in Madhya Pradesh, three in Telangana, two each in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Maharashtra, and one each in Odisha and West Bengal. As per the notification, eight of these blocks have been identified for the host states and the remaining are for other than the host state. This is the first time, in more than 40 years, that the government is opening the coal sector for commercial mining. To date, the mining was being solely undertaken by Coal India, the central PSU.