New Delhi, 28 April (G’nY News service): After successful completion of the second rounds of bidding, the Coal Ministry has finally announced that the third round shall commence from May 2015. Out of the total 23, 12 of these blocks will be reserved for the power sector and the rest 11 for unregulated sectors such as steel, cement and captive power. The auction methodology will conform to the earlier tranches; reverse bidding for the power sector mines and forward bidding for the unregulated sectors.
Supporting the Supreme Court’s decision to cancel 204 coal blocks allocated between 1993 and 2009, the parliament has sanctioned the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Bill,2015 last month. The bill consents commercial mining and auction of these ready-to-operate blocks.
“The third round of coal mines auction may begin in May”, Coal Secretary Anil Swarupis quoted saying in an interview with The Economic Times. He also added, “Most of the clearances of the coal blocks (to be auctioned in the third lot) are there.”
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R.L. Mattoo, Secretary General of the Coal Producers Association, told our correspondent, “So far 29 blocks (15 schedule II blocks in the first round and 14 schedule III blocks in the second) have been auctioned to private companies and 38 allotted to state-owned-entities.” It has to be noted that although 19 blocks were put on auction in the first tranche, four of them came under scrutiny for receiving low value bids. Hence, the first concluded with the auction of 15 blocks only.