Monday, 6 April 2015

Government mines Rs.400,000 crore from coal block auctions

Till now, 29 blocks have been auctioned and another 38 allotted to state-owned entities. Photo: PTI
The auction and allotment of 67 coal blocks so far has unlocked a total value of nearly Rs. 400,000 crore, coal Secretary Anil Swarup said here on Sunday. "Out of 67 blocks auctioned or allotted, a total benefit of Rs. 3,35,000 crore is for states and another Rs. 69,000 crore will be unlocked by way of tariff benefit to the consumers," Swarup said at the Coal Consumers Association of India interactive session.

Till now, 29 blocks have been auctioned and another 38 allotted to state-owned entities. Another 16 blocks will be put up for auction by the third week of April, of which 11 will be for the power sector and the rest for the non-regulated sector.

Swarup said that the government is deliberating on segmentation of industries for the non-regulated sector for allowing a level playing field. "I support the demand for segmentation of industries like sponge iron, which shouldnot be competing with cement companies and we will also not differentiate between the two companies of the same industry," he said.

Coal secretary Anil SwarupReplying to a question, Swarup said that the government is deliberating on further lowering the end-use investment for blocks which will come in the next two to three years. Swarup assured that none of the coal blocks is going to washeries.


Swarup said that the government would first allot the mines to companies that require coal for their own end use. Subsequently, commercial mining rights will be given to Central and state government entities after which these rights may be given to private players. "The legislation allows us, but it does not mean we do it straight away. We want to go step by step."

Swarup also said that the process for auction and allotment of the entire lot of 204 coal blocks that the government has taken up under the Supreme Court order will be completed by March 2016 in a transparent manner. The peak capacity is expected to touch 800-900 million tonnes (MT) while 500 MT of coal would be produced by 2020 to meet the 1.5 billion-tonne coal production target, he added.
Source IndiaToday

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