Studying bids for mines in 3rd phase of coal auction: JSPL

Jindal Steel and Power (JSPL) today said it is studying on the bidding of coal blocks for the next round of auction, which is expected to start in May.

The announcement comes a day after the Competition Commission stated that it is looking into the possible cartelisation in the bidding of three coal blocks.

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“JSPL is studying on the bidding of coal blocks for the next round of auction,” company’s Managing Director and CEO Ravi Uppal told reporters here.

The Coal Ministry had earlier cancelled the bids of Jindal Power for Gare IV/2 and Gare Palma IV/3 coal blocks in Chhattisgarh, in which, it had emerged as successful bidder.

Stating that the imports of steel have risen threefold, Uppal said that the steel makers are in talks with the government against imports from China by increasing duties.

“New government has taken steps for economic growth. MMDR Act will give impetus to industry but some proactive steps are needed to promote entrepreneurship. Working capital constraint is there,” he said.

The Coal Ministry, had last month, rejected the bids of JSPL and Balco for four blocks.

Jindal Power had emerged as successful bidder for Gare IV/2, Gare Palma IV/3 and Tara coal blocks, while Bharat Aluminium Company (Balco) had successfully bid for Gare Palma IV/1 coal block.

The Nominated Authority, which re-examined the offers for these blocks found that there was no “conclusive proof” of collusion in bidding for two mines involving JSPL, although the pattern of bids was in stark contrast to those mines meant for the power sector.

According to sources, the closing bid in respect of Gare Palma IV/2 & IV/3 coal blocks, only one bid was made by Jindal Power, though there were four distinct qualified bidders.

Later, JSPL moved Delhi High Court against the decision of the Centre to cancel bids of coal blocks allocated to it.

When asked about possible cartelisation by companies for grabbing mines, Uppal said the “matter is subjudice and hence will not comment”.

The government has garnered over Rs 2 lakh crore by auctioning off 29 blocks in two phases recently, surpassing the presumptive loss of Rs 1.86 lakh crore estimated earlier by the CAG.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/studying-bids-for-mines-in-3rd-phase-of-coal-auction-jspl-115042200503_1.html

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