New Delhi: The government is likely to deliberate next week on the criteria to be adopted for auction of coal blocks to state-owned firms.
An inter-ministerial meet has been scheduled for October 15 and would deliberate on draft terms and conditions for allocation of coal blocks to government companies through competitive bidding mode, a Coal Ministry official told PTI.
The meeting will "deliberate on draft terms and conditions...Regarding allocation of area containing coal to government companies for the purpose of specified end-users under Rule 4 of the Auction by Competitive Bidding of Coal Mines Rules, 2012", the official said quoting from the agenda.
"The agenda of the meeting shall be... To discuss on the criteria to be adopted for selection of the government company for allocation of the block," the official said.
The meeting, to be chaired by Coal Secretary S K Srivastava, will also be attended by chief secretaries of the states besides officials from Ministries of Steel, Power, Legal Affairs, Economic Affairs and the Planning Commission.
Earlier, it was scheduled on October 12.
The official said the draft terms and conditions, which were also discussed in a meeting in May this year were earlier modified to ensure additional safeguards, especially with regard to transparency and objectivity brought in the linkages which will be granted by the state governments from the allocated coal blocks.
In February, the Coal Ministry had notified rules for allocation of coal blocks through competitive bidding process in order to bring transparency in allotment.
On the allocation of blocks to government companies, it had said that the Centre will identify areas and fix a reserve price.
The Ministry had said it will circulate a list of areas containing coal for inviting application from eligible government companies for allocation of blocks to states and the Power Ministry.
The Coal Ministry, which has identified 54 coal blocks for various sectors, including government firms, to be allocated to competitive bidding route, had said in August that the auction of mines would not be possible this year because of the long process involved in it.