Prime Minister Narendra Modi today kicked off a two-stage electronic auction process to allocate coal blocks for commercial mining. The move was part of the government's "Atmanirbhar Bharat" series of measures to help the country battle the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. The onset of commercial coal mining is a "win-win situation for every stakeholder... The market for coal is now open. It will help all sectors," PM Modi said. India has taken a "big step today" to become self-reliant in energy, and it will turn the COVID-19 crisis into an opportunity, reducing its dependence on imports, the Prime Minister said. The government will auction 41 coal mines to spur private sector participation and investment in coal.