Changes in leasing of lignite/coal blocks contemplated

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New Delhi, Feb 28 (UNI) The Government is considering throwing open allocation of coal and lignite blocks to auction through competitive bidding for allocation of blocks.

It is proposed to transfer the entire resource raised through competitive bidding to the state government concerned where the coal block is located.

By making necessary amendments in the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957, it is proposed to change the present policy for leasing of lignite/coal blocks, Dr Dasari Narayana Rao, Coal Minister, told the Rajya Sabha today in a written reply.

Auctioning was being preferredd in order to make the policy for leasing of these blocks more transparent and objective in view of increasing number of applications and declining number of coal and lignite blocks.

Under the existing provisions of the Act, prior approval of the Central Government is necessary before State Governments can grant mining lease in respect of coal/lignite and other minerals included in the First Schedule of the Act.

UNI SD MSJ RAI1904

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