Coal auction nets 31 bids for 10 blocks

The latest round has received bids for several mines which were offered in earlier rounds but failed to find takers

Gaurav Mishra
First Published28 Jul 2015
The 29 coal blocks auctioned so far have fetched the government around Rs1.72 trillion. Photo: Getty Images<br />
The 29 coal blocks auctioned so far have fetched the government around Rs1.72 trillion. Photo: Getty Images

New Delhi: The government has received 31 bids for 10 coal blocks that will be offered in the third round of electronic auctions with the coal ministry concluding the process of accepting technical bids on Monday.

The bids will be evaluated by a multi-disciplinary technical evaluation committee and technically qualified bidders would be shortlisted for participation in the electronic auction to be conducted from 11 August.

Two of the 10 coal mines belong to Schedule II (mines that were operational when the allocations were cancelled last year), and the rest fall in Schedule III (those that were nearly operational when the allocations were cancelled). These blocks have been earmarked for the unregulated sector—that is, industries that use coal for manufacturing products like cement, aluminium, steel and iron.

The latest round has received bids for several mines which were offered in earlier rounds but failed to find takers. Out of 10 mines on the block this time, six were offered earlier.

“Mines like Parbatpur Central which could not be sold earlier have received bids from industry majors like JSW Steel and Steel Authority of India Ltd, Lloyd Steel and Topworth Urja among others have bid for Marki-Mangli-I. Jamkhani, which was withdrawn from the auction last time, has received the highest number of bids at 6,” the coal ministry said in a statement.

In September 2014, the Supreme Court cancelled the allocation of more than 200 coal mines allocated by the government between 1993 and 2010, a month after ruling that the allotments had been done illegally and arbitrarily and resulted in the “unfair distribution of national wealth”.

The 29 blocks auctioned so far have fetched the government around 1.72 trillion, giving credence to the Comptroller and Auditor General’s 2012 claim that allocation of mines over the years without auction had cost the exchequer 1.86 trillion.

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