Centre Begins Commercial Coal Auction Process
A truck sits parked next to piles of coal in India. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)  

Centre Begins Commercial Coal Auction Process

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The government on Wednesday said it is initiating the process of coal auctions and the first round of sale of blocks under commercial mining is proposed to be launched in the ongoing fiscal.

The announcement comes days after the government approved an ordinance to ease mining laws that will allow global players to enter the coal sector.

A company or a joint venture company incorporated in India is eligible to participate in commercial coal auctions, the coal ministry said in a statement.

"Moving ahead after the recent amendments in MMDR Act 1957 and the CMSP Act 2015, the Ministry of Coal is initiating the process for auction of coal mines for sale of coal. Expected to be held in multiple tranches, the first tranche is proposed to be launched in the current financial year," it said.

The bidders would be required to bid for a percentage share of revenue payable to the government. The floor price shall be 4 percent of the revenue share, the statement added.

The government has released a list of 74 mines which it plans to auction under commercial mining.

The ministry said it has urged interested stakeholders to view the discussion paper and the mine specific details and submit their views/suggestions, indicate their preferences for the mines to be considered for auction under the first tranche.

The ordinance approved by the Cabinet last week also enables auction of unexplored and partially explored coal blocks for mining through prospecting license-cum-mining lease.

These steps are expected to result in opening up of the coal sector completely for commercial mining to local as well as global firms. This would further boost economic growth and employment generation.

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