The Indian government announced that it will auction 10 coal mines in the third tranche, with reserves of 858.19 million tonnes for steel, cement, and captive power plants. The auction is expected to be completed by August 2015.
So far, the government has auctioned 29 coal blocks in two tranches to private companies, accumulating more than 200,000 crore. It has also surpassed CAG’s loss of approximately Rs 186,000 crore of mines without auction.
Speaking about the latest decision, Coal Secretary Anil Swarup said, “We have lined up 10 coal blocks and all of these are in the unregulated sector… The auctions will be held from August 11 to August 17.”
The notice will be issued on June 8, but the due date for the submission of necessary documents is July 21. The government will carry out agreements with successful bidders by August 31, which means that the entire process will have been completed by the same date.
There has been a growing demand from the unregulated sectors across several industries, ranging from cement to steel. Therefore, these blocks will be put up for auction.
Of the total estimated geological reserves in India, these mines extract total coals of about 356.245 million tonnes. These reserves are located in Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Maharashtra.
The ministry has already issued instructions to the nominated authorities to conduct the auction of mines consisting of iron, steel, cement and captive power plant. In September 2014, The Supreme Court had cancelled allocation of 204 coal mines to companies and had termed it as arbitrary and illegal.
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