Economy

Nearly 100 bidders purchase papers for coal blocks

Nearly 100 prospective bidders have picked up the tender documents for the coal blocks that have been put on auction, Coal Secretary Anil Swarup said, adding that the government proposes to complete the entire process of (of the 204 blocks) by March 2016. He described the response as “encouraging.”

He also said that the government had set up a committee to examine the linkage policy so as to make it more transparent. “We need to examine it in light of the recent Supreme Court judgement on coal blocks so as to make it stand the test of law.”

Participating at an interactive session with the members of the Merchant Chamber of Commerce, he said that the government had “no intention to denationalise coal” by auctioning coal blocks to the private sector. “We see an increasing role for Coal India (CIL) whose production target is being doubled to one billion tonnes.”

He said that in order to evacuate this increased CIL output, the government was exploring the options of entering into joint venture with the Railways for 50 projects where CIL could strike a joint venture with the Railways. These JVs would improve evacuation facilities.

“I have written to the Railway Board and we are meeting on 20.. they will tell me about the viability of these projects.”

To a question on mine development operators (MDOs for CIL) Mr. Swarup said that the government was now looking at the draft MDO (bid) document for which it will also consult the state governments.

To a question on ‘ad hoc’ offering of coal through e-auctions, he said that from March 2015, this would be indicated in advance. However, he felt that CIL would have to honour its existing commitments before selling coal through auctions.

Hemant Bangur, Senior Vice-President, MCC, felt that e-auctioning of coal blocks could not be the panacea for all ills of the mining operations as allocates have to cross a series of hurdles, from land acquisition to logistics.

The government has already issued notices to the prospective bidders asking them to work out a schedule for go on site visits and to inspect the land documents.

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Printable version | Dec 5, 2020 6:11:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/Economy/nearly-100-bidders-purchase-papers-for-coal-blocks/article6794410.ece

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