According to a report by The Shillong Times, the ban on rat-hole mining in Meghalaya has impacted not just domestic companies but also cement and other enterprises in Nepal and Bangladesh, which share a border with the hill state.
Mahendra Bahadur Chitrakar, president of the Federation of Nepal Brick Businesses, said that coal imports from Meghalaya have reduced to nearly zero, affecting the neighbouring country’s cement and brick kiln industries.
Reduction in Coal imports to Nepal
Mahendra Bahadur Chitrakar claims that Meghalaya provides 75% of the coal used in Nepalese brick manufacturing.
Domestic brick manufacturers were forced to import coal from foreign nations such as the United States and Indonesia since India directed its coal supply to internal industries due to the restriction on coal mining in Meghalaya, he claimed. However, the prices are more than twice as high, and the firms are completely reliant on coal imported from Meghalaya, he noted.
According to Chitrakar, the price of bricks will increase by 25-30% due to increases in coal, fuel, and labour costs.
According to the organisation, over 1,250 brick factories employ around 3.5 lakh people directly throughout the country.
In the first four months of the current fiscal year, Nepal imported coal worth Rs 2.99 billion from India, up 149.2 percent from the same period the previous fiscal year 2020-21.