As bill passes Parliament, India set to auction 15-20 more coal mines next month

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| Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - 12:17
First Published |

India set to auction 15-20 more coal mines

The government is all set to auction another set of 15-20 coal blocks next month following passage of the coal mines bill in Parliament.

In addition, the government is also likely to allot 43 mines to central and state PSUs this week.

"The government is planning to come out with Notice Inviting Tender for auction of 15-20 mines by the third-week of next month," an official said.

The government has already garnered over Rs 2 lakh crore by auctioning just 33 blocks, surpassing the Rs 1.86 lakh crore loss estimated earlier by government auditor CAG for allotment of mines without auction.

However, the government rejected bids received for four coal blocks. The mines whose bids were rejected include Gare IV/2, Gare Palma IV/3 and Tara coal blocks in Chhattisgarh in which JSPL had emerged as the highest bidder, and Gare Palma IV/1 mine bagged by Bharat Aluminium Company (Balco).

The government is believed to have alloted the three cancelled coal blocks, for which JSPL and Balco had emerged as the highest bidders in the recently concluded auction, to state-owned miner CIL.

Parliament last week approved Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Bill, 2015, which forms part of NDA government's reforms agenda, in the nick of time on the last day of the first half of Budget session and the ordinance on this were to lapse on April 5.

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