Kolkata, April 6: Armed with the Coal Mines Special Provisions Bill, 2015, the government is all set to allow commercial mining of coal and state-owned entities would be the first to be allotted mines for the purpose.
"We will be allotting mines to the state entities for commercial mining of coal," Coal Secretary Anil Swarup said on Sunday at a Coal Consumers' Association of India-organised interactive session.
He said that in the next phase, private entities would be assigned mines.
The Centre is in the process of allotting 204 coal blocks in a transparent manner of which 67 blocks have been allotted by either auction or on a nomination basis to state entities.
To start with, the Coal Ministry is trying to allow commercial extraction of coal in mines which are already with state governments.
Speaking about auction of coal linkages, Swarup said the aim was for a methodology of offering linkages in a transparent manner and auction was not the only option.
"SBI caps has been mandated to suggest on this and a policy paper will be ready on this by June 30," he said.
He pointed out that if a company did not participate in the process or auction, it would not get the linkage.
Meanwhile, Coal Consumers Association president G Jayaraman said coal linkages should be for 30 years.
On a question of coal quality, Swarup said Coal India was committed toward supply of quality coal.
"Joint sampling is the way and we have prepared a schedule for coal washeries at each mine also," Swarup said.