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Govt to allot coal mines to PSUs today


New Delhi: After two rounds of auctioning of coal blocks for private companies, the government will today allot mines to central and state PSUs.

“Allotment of coal blocks to state entities to take place today,” Coal Secretary Anil Swarup tweeted.

The Coal Ministry had earlier received 107 applications from public sector undertakings (PSUs) like NTPC Ltd, Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL), Damodar Valley Corp (DVC) and Neyveli Lignite Corp (NLC) for allocation of 43 coal blocks.

The Palma II mine in Chhattisgarh got nine applications, the highest for a single block.

“The allotment process for 43 coal mines to government companies started on February 18…Maximum number of applications have been received for Gare Palma sector II coal mine,” an official release said.

The companies which had applied for Gare Palma II mine in Chhattisgarh include NTPC, Singareni Collieries Co Ltd, Andhra Pradesh Power Generation Corp and Gujarat State Electricity Corp.

The government has already garnered over Rs 2 lakh crore by auctioning just 33 blocks, surpassing the Rs 1.86 lakh crore loss estimated earlier by government auditor CAG for allotment of mines without auction.

The government is believed to have alloted the three cancelled coal blocks, for which JSPL and Balco had emerged as the highest bidders in the recently concluded auction, to state-owned miner CIL.

Parliament last week approved Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Bill, 2015, which forms part of NDA government’s reforms agenda, in the nick of time on the last day of the first half of Budget session and the ordinance on this were to lapse on April 5.

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