On the seventh day of auction of all cancelled coal blocks, the government said it will start the second tranche of auctions by Feb 25. The government has till now raised nearly Rs.84,000 crore. The second phase of auction will begin on February 25 and continue till April 2. The coal ministry expects sale proceeds of 204 coal blocks to surpass the earlier estimates of Rs 7 lakh crore.
In total, 27 blocks have been allocated for the unregulated sector, while 56 blocks will go to the regulated power sector. The government will either auction or allocate 83 blocks by March 31. The government has till now raised Rs.83,662 crore through the e-auction of coal blocks, the senior-most ministry official said.
The e-auction amount is Rs 83,662 crore. But these blocks will also entail an income to the states by way of royalty which comes to Rs 12,801 crore. Madhya Pradesh will get Rs 39,900 crore, Chhattisgarh Rs 26,425 crore, Jharkhand Rs 14,498 crore, West Bengal Rs 13,210 crore, Maharashtra Rs 1,819 crore and Odisha Rs 607 crore.
Earlier on Friday, UltraTech Cement won the auction for the Bicharpur coal block in Madhya Pradesh with the highest bid of Rs 3,003 per million tonnes . The commercial production from the block will start in fiscal 2018. Talabira I Coal Line in Odisha went to GMR Energy for a price of Rs 143.40 crore.
On the sixth day Thursday, Jindal Steel won back the Gare Palma II and III mines in of Chhattisgarh is crucial for as those deposits. The mine produces 6.25 million tonnes a year, making it the company’s biggest by output,
Jindal’s winning bid of Rs.108 a tonne was in the reverse auction for the Gare Palma mines, where the lowest bidder wins, to help keep low the cost of electricity generated. Meanwhile, the ongoing auction has vindicated CAG’s criticism of the way the natural resources was allocated by the previous government, Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said Friday.
In a 2012 report, the Comptroller and Auditor General estimated coal block allocations during the previous UPA period led to the government losing Rs 186,000 crore. The coal blocks were earlier allocated through a screening committee.
After the Supreme Court last September cancelled the allocation of 204 mines, the government decided to auction the blocks. Nineteen blocks have so far been auctioned in the first tranche, the last day for which is Feb 22. (IANS)