23 COAL BLOCK MAY BE UP FOR AUCTION NEXT WEEK

After the success of two rounds of mines auction, the Coal Ministry is planning to start the bidding process for another 23 blocks next week.

“The government is contemplating to the initiate auction process of 23 coal blocks next week,” an official said, adding that 12 would be for the power sector and other 11 for non-power sector.

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The government had earlier said that the auction of third round will begin later this month.

“The third tranche of coal block auction will commence from third week of April,” Coal Secretary Anil Swarup had earlier told PTI.

“Most of the clearances of the coal blocks (to be auctioned in the third lot) are there,” he had said.

Swarup had earlier tweeted that states will receive Rs 466 crore as first tranche from auction of coal blocks, while the Centre will not keep any revenue from this upfront payment by bidders.

“First tranche amount of Rs 466 crore goes to the states by way of upfront payment received from bidders in coal block auctions,” Swarup had tweeted.

“No revenue gain for the Centre. The entire amount out of coal block auctions will go to the States. Cooperative federalism at its best,” he had added.

Government has garnered over Rs 2 lakh crore by auctioning 29 blocks in two phases, surpassing the presumptive loss of Rs 1.86 lakh crore estimated earlier by government auditor CAG for allotment of mines without auction.

Parliament had last month approved Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Bill, 2015, which forms part of NDA government’s reforms agenda.

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