Millennium Post

Cancellation of coal bid: JSPL says it is ‘puzzled’

“We had followed a consistent and prudent bidding strategy throughout the coal block auction process, with a serious long-term business perspective. We are puzzled with the decision and would make our best efforts to engage in a dialogue with the Coal Ministry and Government Authorities to present the facts,” it said in a statement.

The government had late last night announced cancelling three bids -- two bids of Jindal Steel and Power (JSPL) for three blocks (Gare Palma IV/2, IV/3 and Tara) and one bid by aluminium maker Balco for Gare Palma IV/1 and said it would take a final decision on these mines after deliberations.

According to sources, the government is looking at options of giving the mines whose bids have been cancelled to either Coal India or states.

Coal Minister Piyush Goyal, however said, “The Department (Coal ministry) will take the final decision on the rejected bids, it will deliberate and then decide.” A Sesa Sterlite spokesperson Roma Balwani, however, refused to comment on the issue saying, “No comments.” Balco is a subsidiary of Sesa Sterlite. The government was re-examining the bids for nine coal blocks, including those where JSPL and Balco emerged top bidders in the recently held auction. “Bids for Gare Palma IV/1, IV/2, IV/3 and Tara coal blocks not accepted,” Coal Secretary Anil Swarup said.

However, bids for five other blocks have been accepted, he added. JSPL had emerged as successful bidder for Gare IV/2, Gare Palma IV/3 and Tara coal blocks, while Bharat Aluminium Company (Balco) had successfully bid for Gare Palma IV/1 coal block.
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