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Received complaints over cartelisation in coal bidding


New Delhi:  The government today said it has received a few complaints regarding “cartelisation” in bidding during the recent coal block auctions and investigations are being carried out in the matter.

“A few complaints were received regarding cartelisation in bidding,” Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal said in a written reply to Lok Sabha.

“It is not possible to conclusively establish the same until investigation are carried out by competent authority,” he added.

The government has not approved the recommendation of nominated authority (NA) for declaration of successful bidder in case of four coal mines-Gare Palma IV/2, Gare Palma IV/3, Gare Palma IV/1 and Tara — as final closing closing bid price was not found to be reflecting fair value, he said.

Jindal Power, a subsidiary of Jindal Steel and Power Ltd, has emerged as successful bidder for Gare Palma IV/2, Gare Palma IV/3 and Tara coal blocks, while Balco had emerged as successful bidder for Gare Palma IV/1 coal block.

Of the total 67 mines — 29 were auctioned and 38 were alloted to the central and state PSUs.

In a separate reply, the minister said that the revenue likely to be generated from the recent auction and allotment of 67 mines is estimated at 3.35 lakh crore.

“The estimated amount of revenue likely to be generated from the auction/allotment of these 67 coal mines is Rs 3,35,370 crore approximately,” Goyal said.

In addition, the benefits to consumers in terms of reduction of electricity tariffs is likely to be about Rs 69,310.97 crore, he added.

Out of 204 coal blocks cancelled by the Supreme Court last year, government has so far allocated 67 coal mines through auction and allotment in the current year.

“One coal block namely, Ardhagram where the successful bidder was declared, has been handed over to designated custodian in view of the court case,” he said.

He, however, said that no time limit has been fixed for completing the allocation process of all the 204 mines.

Of the total 67 mines, the maximum no of 20 mines went to Jharkhand, followed by 14 to Chhattisgarh and 11 to West Bengal among others.

Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha and Telengana are the other states to which the mines were allocated.

Replying to another question, Goyal said that out of the 29 mines auctioned, 16 are operational and 13 are non- operational.

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