State-run steel makers SAIL and RINL received approval from the union cabinet to charter ships directly without going through the government's chartering organization TRANSCHART for importing coal and other raw materials.
The move would facilitate better control of logistics, shipping and operations of importing coal and other raw material from overseas, a government statement said.
Both Steel Authority of India (SAIL) and Rashtriya Ispat Nigam (RINL) requested the union government to allow them to charter ships directly without going through the government's chartering organization TRANSCHART.
The decision will also help in meeting the shortfall in the domestic availability of coking coal, union steel ministry said in a release.
According to the existing policy, vessels for shipping imported coal by government companies have to be chartered through TRANSCHART, and an exemption has been given to both the steel public sector units.
SAIL and RINL import around 14-15 million tonne of coking coal annually.