Coal Ministry invites bids for 3rd round of auction
The government on Monday kick-started the process for <g data-gr-id="25">auction</g> of 10 coal blocks in the third tranche, inviting bids from companies engaged in sectors like steel, cement and captive power generation.
“The government of India has directed the Nominated Authority to undertake the auction of 10 identified schedule II & III coal mines to eligible companies. Accordingly, bids are invited ... from eligible companies for shortlisting of qualified bidders,” the Coal Ministry said in a notice inviting tender.
“Qualified bidders will be allowed to participate in the auction for the coal mines,” the ministry said. <g data-gr-id="23">Government</g> last week said that it will auction 10 coal mines with reserves of 858.19 million tonnes for steel, cement as well as captive power plants and the process will be completed by <g data-gr-id="18">August end</g>.
The government has so far auctioned 29 coal blocks in two tranches to private companies and garnered over Rs 2 lakh crore, surpassing CAG’s loss estimates of Rs 1.86 lakh crore in allotment of mines earlier without auction. Of the total estimated geological reserves, these mines have extractable coal of about 356.245 million tonnes and are located in Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Odisha.
Coal Secretary Anil Swarup had said that the government will execute agreements with successful bidders by August 31 and “so the process by and large will be completed by August 31”. The Supreme Court in <g data-gr-id="19">September</g> last year had cancelled allocation of 204 coal mines to companies without auction.