Coal auctions: Round 3 set to begin on Tuesday

New Delhi, Aug 9 (IANS) The government this week released the list of technical bidders for the first five coal mines up for bidding in the third phase of coal block auctions beginning on Tuesday.

“The e-auction of these mines is proposed to be held from August 11-17, 2015 and the process of allocation is scheduled to be completed by September 2015,” Power and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal told the Lok Sabha recently in a written reply.

Companies like Hindalco, Jindal Steel and Power and Vedanta Ltd. will take part in the auction of 10 mines in this round, including six offered earlier but which failed to find takers.

The coal mines up for auction are all “captive” category, for use by the unregulated sector to manufacture products like cement, aluminium, steel and iron.

The government informed parliament last month of the auction of these 10 coal mines holding 858.19 million tonnes of geological reserves and 356.26 million tonnes of extractable reserves.

Two of the 10 coal blocks belong to schedule II (mines that were operational when the allocations were cancelled last year) while the remaining are schedule III mines (those that were nearly operational when the allocations were cancelled).

Making one change to the auction rules in this round, the government will treat multiple bids from one company as a single bid. Earlier, two or more bids from an entity were treated as separate bids.

The auctions so far, following the cancellation of 204 blocks by the Supreme Court in September last, have garnered around Rs.200,000 crore revenue for the states, Goyal said.

Apart from an estimated revenue of Rs.1,71,961 crore from 29 coal mines already auctioned, royalty of Rs.20,620 crore and upfront payment of Rs.930 crore accrues to the states, the minister added.

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