Govt offers 17 coal blocks to PSUs, invites proposals

Govt offers 17 coal blocks to PSUs, invites proposals New Delhi: Initiating the process of allocation of coal mines, the government on Monday invited proposals from PSUs for alloting 17 blocks to them, mostly for captive power plants.

"It has been decided to offer 17 coal blocks (14 coal blocks for end use i.e. for power and 3 coal blocks for mining) to different Government Companies/Undertaking (Central and State)," the Coal Ministry said in a statement.

The development comes in the wake of the government's repeated announcements to make policy for mines allotment transparent, following CAG terming potential losses of Rs 1.86 lakh crore to the exchequer on account of blocks allotment to 57 private firms without auction.

"The Ministry of Coal has initiated the process of allocation of coal blocks under the amended provisions of Mines and Mineral Development and Regulation Act and Rules framed there under.

"In the first round the Government proposes to allocate coal blocks to the Government companies/Undertakings (Central and State) for specific end use(power) and coal mining," the statement said.

The applicants have been asked to submit their proposals by January 30.

The blocks on offer are: Jilga-Barpali, Baisi, Banai, Bhalmunda, Kente and Kerwa in Chhattisgarh, Gowa, Pachwara South and Kalyanpur-Badalpara in Jharkhand, Mahajanwadi in Maharashtra, Kundanali-Laburi, Sarapal-Nuapara, Tentuloi, Chandrabila and Brahamani in Odisha, Gandbahera-Uhhenia block in Madhya Pradesh and Deocha-Pachami-Dewanganj-Harinsingha in West Bengal.

These blocks on offer have estimated reserves of 8.45 billion tonnes.

Under Rule 4 of auction by competitive bidding of Coal Mines Rules 2012, the government has decided allocation of suitable coal blocks to the government companies that are authorised to undertake coal mining, the statement said.

Last week, an inter-ministerial panel, which was set up to look into coal block allocations to government firms came out with pre-determined evaluation criteria that include taking into account allotees' track record of developing the mines given to them.

The criteria include progress of the development of mines given in the past, the coal demand-supply gap of a state and the location of the plants among others.

Earlier, the Coal Ministry had informed the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) that it would soon issue notification inviting offers from the public sector for allocation of identified coal blocks.

The Coal Ministry had in May identified 54 mines for allocation. Of these, 16 had been earmarked for government firms, 16 for power sector and 22 for allocation through auction route.

PTI