Fresh coal auction drill

The government is in the process of identifying 15-20 coal blocks for bidding in the next round of auction.

“The 15-20 coal blocks are being identified (for auction) and we are hopeful that mining from these blocks could start soon,” coal and power minister Piyush Goyal said.

He said it was not possible to set a timeline for the auction of all 204 blocks that were cancelled by the Supreme Court in September last year.

 “I don’t think that a timeline can be set for all 204 (coal blocks) because several of them are unexplored and were allotted earlier based on an irrational criteria. I would like to do the whole job very systematically,” he said.

On the auctioning of coal links, Goyal said, “We have a committee which is exploring various options of what we should do with the linkages. We have not decided on a particular course of action. Once the committee gives its report, we will take a considered view in continuation of our efforts to bring transparency and integrity in the whole system.”

The plan to auction the linkages follows reports of irregularities in granting them. Linkages are awarded to projects that do not have captive mines and need to source coal from state-owned Coal India.

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