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Coal block allocation: Private sector wins 5 mines and freedom to sell 25% produce

The Ministry of Coal allotted five coal mines to private players in the first coal block allocation in the last four years
New Delhi: The Ministry of Coal allotted five coal mines to private players in the first coal block allocation in the last four years. The winners of the latest round of allocation were Birla Corporation, Vedanta, Prakash Industries and Powerplus Traders. The Ministry of coal expects revenue share of Rs 17,136 crore, excluding royalties, levies and taxes in their 30-year lifespan. The auction was launched last month for 27 mines for non-regulated sectors, a press release said.

Coal block allocation allows operators to sell 25% in market

This is the first time that the coal block allocation gives operators the freedom to sell 25 percent of the output in the market. The freedom is being looked at as a harbinger of commercial mining in India, which has already been approved by the government. The government believes that production from these mines will ease the coal import bills and create direct and indirect livelihood opportunities.

The winners’ list

Birla Corporation bagged the Bikram and Brahmapuri blocks in Madhya Pradesh, quoting prices of Rs 154 and Rs 156 per tonne, respectively. Vedanta quoted Rs 1,674 per tonne for Jamkhana mine in Odisha. Prakash Industries bagged Bhaskarpara block in Chhattisgarh at Rs 1,100 per tonne and Powerplus Traders was allottd Jagannathpur B block in West Bengal at Rs 185 a tonne.

The backdrop

Earlier in August, the government allowed 100 percent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in coal mining to curb India’s growing coal imports by opening up the industry to competition. India is one of the largest consumers of coal and fossil fuel is one of the top five commodities imported by India.