A Coal Ministry panel has agreed to allocate three coal blocks to mining PSUs including Jharkhand State Mineral Development Corp and MP State Mining Corporation Ltd.

The three coal blocks are part of 17 mines identified by the ministry for state-owned companies. It had earlier allocated 14 coal blocks to power sector firms.

“The IMC (Inter-Ministerial Committee) agreed with the approach adopted by the Technical Committee in recommending allocation of the three coal blocks... Accordingly, IMC unanimously agreed on the allocations as per the recommendations of the technical committee,” said the minutes of the meeting of IMC.

The panel, chaired by Coal Secretary, agreed to give Brahmani coal block in Odisha to Orissa Minerals Development Company Ltd (OMDC), Gowa coal block in Jharkhand to Jharkhand State Mineral Development Corp (JSMDC) and Bihar State Mineral Development Corp (BMDC) and Kerwa coal block in Chhattisgarh to Chhattisgarh Mineral Development Corp (CMDC) and MP State Mining Corp, the minutes state.

In all, the ministry had received 41 applications from 17 government companies for the blocks.

The Technical Committee, under the chairmanship of Coal Advisor (Projects), in its meeting held in September had agreed to recommend for consideration of IMC for allocation of these three coal blocks for mining, the minutes said.

The application process for regionally explored 14 coal blocks meant for power sector was completed by the ministry by the June-end.

“However, the inter-ministerial technical committee could not carry out the evaluation of three coal blocks earmarked for mining by government companies simultaneously along with the 14 blocks for power due to the small size of the blocks compared to the blocks earmarked for the power,” it added.

Kickstarting the process of coal blocks allocation, the government had in June allocated 14 coal mines to Central and State public sector undertakings (PSUs), including four to NTPC.

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