Govt to put 27 coal blocks up for commercial mining

Kolkata: The government has decided to auction a total of 27 coal blocks to private companies who can sell 25 percent of the produce in the open market at a premium of 15 percent over their bid price for winning these blocks. The rest of the coal will be for the captive sector, including iron and steel, cement, captive power plants.

Bidding to take place in October

Financial bidding for the blocks will be held between October 10 and October 8 and final allotments are likely to be done by November 11, according to the timeline prepared by the Centre.

The government will auction the blocks in three tranches — 8th, 9th and 10th. A total of 20 blocks are on offer under the 8th tranche and these would be for the iron & steel, cement and captive power plants, excluding steel makers who use coking coal.

The tally

The 8th tranche would see the Centre putting a total of 20 blocks up for sale, 10 from Maharashtra, four each from Chhattisgarh and West Bengal and one each are from Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh.

The 9th tranche will include six blocks for iron and steel producers only. Under this, five blocks will be up for grabs in Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh.

The 10th tranche will be for a single block meant for iron and steel, cement and captive power plants, excluding steel makers using coking coal. Only one block from Odisha is up for grabs under this tranche.

The backdrop

Tenders for auction of coal blocks for commercial mining under tranche 6 and 7 had been floated by the government last year. However, these had been cancelled as the bidder wanted more time and elections were drawing closer.