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Notification of fourth round coal block auctions in eight days: Anil Swarup

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This year, the surplus domestic coal production can be utilized as import substitute, said the secretary. The coal production in CIL has grown at a rate of 9% this year, and 13% was desirable to reach 1 billion tonnes by 2020. A target of 550 million tonnes has been set for CIL.

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Swarup said notification for the fourth round of coal block auctions will be issued in eight days or so. Out of the 34 mines auctioned under the Schedule 2, seven have operationalized. Three of the power companies have moved court to seek passing on of fixed cost to the final power tariff.

“Only a small number of bidders have gone to the court. It is expected that around 7-8 more mines will be operational in a couple of months and by March end almost all the 34 mines under the schedule 2 will be ready,” said the secretary.

All the Central clearances for the Schedule 2 mines have been granted. Now, the ministry is also following it up with the respective state governments to grant the approvals under its purview. The states are being convinced that mining operations bring a major revenue in the form of royalty, he said. Even in case of CIL’s mines, a repeated follow up is being undertaken with the state government authorities, said Swarup.

The secretary said the second phase of coal linkage rationalization is set to begin soon. The first phase can lead to a yearly saving of 1,000 crore power companies. This entails supplying coal from the mine closest to the consumers’ end. The second round will cover private industries.

A team from ministry of coal had recently visited South Africa and there are plans to start a joint venture with Coal India and the state-run coal mining company of the country.

In a nutshell, Notification on fourth round of coal block bidding to be released shortly. Source

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