More blocks will be offered to private sector shortly
The Government, on Friday, proposed to offer seven open cast mines of about 25 million tonnes capacity to mine developer-cum-operators (MDOs) this year-end to increase coal production. Bedsides this, 14 blocks for power, and three for mining had been put on offer recently under the government dispensation route, and allocation of these blocks would be completed shortly.
According to Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal, some more blocks will be offered to the private sector shortly to ensure increased availability of coal.
Mr. Jaiswal said the provisions of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act had been amended for increased transparency in coal block allocation, and a new set of rules had been framed for allocating coal blocks through competitive bidding.
Initiating the process of allocation of coal mines, the government had last year invited proposals from PSUs for allotting 17 blocks to them, mostly for captive power plants. The development followed the government’s repeated announcements to make policy for mines allotment transparent.
The government had earlier said six explored mines had been identified for allotment to private firms through the competitive bidding route.
Mr. Jaiswal said a draft Bill Coal Regulatory Authority was ready, and would be put up for Cabinet’s consideration soon. A Group of Ministers (GoM) had discussed the draft Bill and had forwarded the final draft to the Cabinet for approval. The Coal Regulatory Authority would ensure transparency in pricing, quality and supply of coal. It would also have the powers to resolve disputes between producers and consumers, he added.