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Coal and spectrum sale proceeds cross Rs 3-L cr

The auction kitty from sale of coal mines and telecom spectrum on Monday swelled to over Rs three lakh crore -- exceeding all estimates including by CAG for value of such resources, which have been at the centre of two major scams in the recent years.

While coal blocks being sold through an e-auction are the same whose allocation got cancelled pursuant to a Supreme Court order in relation to the alleged ‘coalgate’ scam, the 2G and 3G airwaves being put under hammer are different from those in the so-called ‘2G scam’.

These two scams had become matters of big political debates including in run-up to the Lok Sabha polls last year. In total 204 coal blocks were cancelled, while auction of just 32 of them have yielded Rs 2.07 lakh crore already, including about Rs 11,000 crore from two mines on Monday. In spectrum, total bids reached Rs 94,000 crore at the end of the fifth day of auction on Monday. The auction for both the resources will continue tomorrow.

Coal Minister Piyush Goyal said that the e-auction of 32 coal blocks, out of 204 cancelled coal blocks, “has already yielded potential e-auction revenues, royalties and upfront payments of Rs 2.07 lakh crores, which is far in excess of CAG loss estimate of Rs 1.86 lakh crore.”

The cumulative kitty of over Rs 2 lakh crore includes over Rs one lakh crore from sale of 19 mines in first tranche. The total proceeds from the spectrum auction is expected to cross Rs one lakh crore mark, while the minimum amount earlier targetted by the government was Rs 82,000 crore.
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