In a bid to ensure adequate availability, state-owned CIL will this month begin the second phase of auction of coal linkages for the non-regulated sector and is likely to put on offer 14.5 million tonnes of fuel.
"Tranche II of auction of coal linkages for sponge iron sub-sector under non-regulated sector...is scheduled to start from January 17 onwards," an official said.
The auction of the second phase will be held in the month of January and February, the official said. "In the non-regulated sector, the auction of coal linkages will be for sponge iron, cement, steel and others," the official said. For the sponge iron sector, around 5 million tonnes of coal would be put on offer, the official added. In the first round, Coal India (CIL) auctioned around 22 million tonnes of fuel linkages for the non-regulated sector, he said.
The government had earlier said allocation of coal linkages for non-regulated sector industries will be only through the auction route to ensure transparency. Sectors included are cement, steel/sponge iron, aluminium, and others (excluding fertiliser, urea). The framework attempts to make coal available in a fair manner to end-users.
Last year, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs had approved allocation of coal linkages for non-regulated sector only through auction route. Prior to Cabinet's approval, Standing Linkage Committee had been deciding on allocation of long-term and short-term linkages for the sectors, including power and steel.