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Post Coal scam: Ministry seeks comments on draft bid on mines to be auctioned

Coal Import

Pertaining a greater transparency in the coal mines’ auctioning, the coal ministry has sought suggestions from the stakeholders on the draft bid document

Coal ImportNew Delhi: Pertaining a greater transparency in the coal mines’ auctioning, the coal ministry has sought suggestions from the stakeholders on the draft bid document.

The development comes in the backdrop of the government drawing flak from various quarters for irregularities in mines allocation.

“The government proposes to allocate area containing coal (coal blocks) through auction by competitive bidding. The comments/suggestions are invited from stakeholders on the draft Request for Proposal (RFP),” according to a Coal Ministry document.

“The comments/suggestions may be sent by January 20, 2014,” the Ministry further said.

The government watchdog CAG had in 2012 estimated a Rs 1.86 lakh crore presumptive loss to the exchequer on account of allotment of 57 coal blocks without competitive bidding.

Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal had said last year that the auction of coal blocks may happen in March. An official had said the government’s aim was to auction 10 blocks in the first tranche instead of the six planned initially.

The Coal Ministry had asked Coal India Ltd‘s mine planning and consultancy company CMPDIL to assess the reserves of four more mines and submit its report.

The government has also asked CMPDIL to appoint two separate consultants, including Crisil, to help in the process of coal mine auction.

The Cabinet has already approved the methodology for auction, providing for upfront and production-linked payments and benchmarking of coal sale prices.

PTI

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