The Coal Ministry has received around 316 applications, including 235 from power sector and 38 from mining firms, with regard to 17 coal blocks to be allotted to public sector firms.

“We have received 316 applications with regard to 17 coal mines to be allocated to government companies/undertakings,” a government official said.

“Of the total applications the Coal Ministry received, 235 are from power companies and 38 from mining firms. The remaining applications are either incomplete or have been withdrawn,” the official added.

The companies which have applied for the coal blocks are NTPC, Neyveli Lignite Corporation and MOIL among others, the official said.

Initiating the process of allocation of mines, the Coal Ministry had in December invited proposals from PSUs for allotment of mines to them, mostly for captive power plants.

The development came in the wake of the government’s repeated announcements to make policy for mines allotment transparent, following CAG terming potential losses of Rs 1.86 lakh crore to the exchequer on account of allotment of blocks to 57 private firms without auction.

Later, the government had extended the last date for receipt of applications for 17 coal mines to state-run companies from January 30, 2013 to February 8, 2013.

The Coal Ministry initiated the process of allocation of mines under the amended provisions of MMDR (Mines and Mineral Development and Regulation) Act and rules framed thereunder.

In the first round, the government proposes to allocate coal blocks to the government companies-Central and State- for specific end use (power) and coal mining.

The blocks on offer include Jilga-Barpali, Baisi, Banai, Bhalmunda, Kente and Kerwa in Chhattisgarh, Gowa, Pachwara South and Kalyanpur-Badalpara in Jharkhand, Mahajanwadi in Maharashtra, Kundanali-Laburi, Sarapal-Nuapara, Tentuloi, Chandrabila and Brahamani in Odisha.

Gandbahera-Uhhenia block in Madhya Pradesh and Deocha-Pachami-Dewanganj-Harinsingha in West Bengal are also on offer.

Put together, the blocks on offer have estimated reserves of 8.45 billion tonnes.

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