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Coal auction to start soon: Jaitley

Jaitley addresses media

Gandhinagar: Government today said the much-awaited auction of coal blocks to private companies will begin soon.

“Coal block allocations to the public sector and auctions to the private sector will begin soon. This will ease some pressure once with all the producers the mining resource is available.

“Their own credit-worthiness also goes up,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on the sidelines of  the Vibrant Gujarat Summit here.

He lamented power and highways sectors have suffered “setback” in recent years and bankers say that in these areas their investments in “a big way are under stress”.

He said that clearing up the entire mess in coal and power sectors is one important step the government was taking.

The government on December 27 last year invited bids for 24 mines. It later dropped one block from the list of 24 due to “technical reasons”.

After dropping Namchik Namphuk mine in Arunachal Pradesh, 23 mines will be available in the first tranche now.

The coal blocks also fall in the Schedule-II coal mines. Schedule II coal mines are 42 producing blocks out of 204 cancelled by the Supreme Court in September last year.

The Union Cabinet had earlier approved re-promulgation of the coal ordinance and necessary guidelines for mine allocations.

The government on December 25 last year kick-started the auction process for coal mines cancelled by the Supreme Court with the launch of a portal for electronic bidding.

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