New Delhi: An inter-ministerial panel will meet early next month to deliberate on 17 coal blocks to be allocated to public sector firms.
Together, the blocks have estimated reserves of 8.45 billion tonnes.
The committee will deliberate on the details, received from state governments after scrutinising the applications from PSUs seeking to coal blocks.
The Coal Ministry has said that an inter-ministerial technical committee will meet on March 7 "to consider inputs received from CMPDIL (a CIL's subsidiary) and concerned state governments and administrative ministries".
On the basis of the inputs received, the committee under the chairmanship of Advisor, Technical, the Coal Ministry will make recommendations to another panel for final decision on mines allocation.
The panel, which was constituted in January, has members of various ministries including power and steel.
The Coal Ministry has received around 316 applications, including 235 from the power sector and 38 from mining firms, for the allocation of 17 coal blocks to public sector firms.
NTPC, Neyveli Lignite Corporation and MOIL are among the companies that have applied for the coal blocks.
In December, the ministry invited proposals from the PSUs for the mines allotment, mostly for captive power plants.
The government has extended the last date for application from January 30 to February 8.
The Ministry initiated the process of allocation under the amended provisions of the Mines and Mineral Development and Regulation Act.
In the first round, the government proposes to allocate blocks to the government companies for specific use (power) and coal-mining.
The blocks on offer include Jilga-Barpali, Baisi, Banai, Bhalmunda, Kente and Kerwa in Chhattisgarh; Gowa, Pachwara South and Kalyanpur-Badalpara in Jharkhand; Mahajanwadi in Maharashtra; and Kundanali-Laburi, Sarapal-Nuapara, Tentuloi, Chandrabila and Brahamani in Odisha.
The Gandbahera-Uhhenia block in Madhya Pradesh and Deocha-Pachami-Dewanganj-Harinsingha in West Bengal are also on offer.