Govt to issue ownership rights of 15 coal mines on Mar 23

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New Delhi, March 15: Government will begin issuing ownership rights on March 23 for the coal blocks that have been auctioned so far by the government, starting with successful bidders for 15 mines in the first tranche.

As many as nineteen mines under Schedule II (already in production) category were auctioned in the first leg held between February 14 and February 22.

Coal-block-auction

However, the government will decide the fate of four blocks, which came under the scanner for receiving low value bids, after an Inter-Ministerial Committee report.

"Top Coal Ministry officials had a meeting with Chief Secretaries of coal-bearing states in order to ensure smooth transfer rights, title and interests in the coal mines to successful allottees. Accordingly, vesting orders would be issued on March 23 to successful bidders who grabbed mines in the first tranche of auctions," an official told PTI.

The blocks whose ownership rights would be vested to successful bidders on March 23 include Amelia (North), Ardhagram Soya, Belgaon, Bicharpur, Chotia, Gare Palma IV/4, Gare Palma IV/5, Gare Palma IV/7, Kathautia, Mandla North, Sarisatolli, Sial Ghoghri, Talabira - I, Tokisud North and Trans Damodar.

Reliance Cement, GMR Chhattisgarh, Hindalco, Sunflag Iron and Steel, Jaiprakash Associates, Jaiprakash Power Ventures, OCL Iron and Steel, Bharat Aluminium, Essar Power MP, Jindal Power and UltraTech Cement had bagged these mines.

The four coal blocks whose vesting orders will not be issued now are Gare-Palma-IV/2 and 3, Gare-Palma-IV/1, all in Chhattisgarh and Marki Mangli-III. They were won by Jindal Steel and Power (JSPL), Balco and BS Ispat respectively.

The official said the government is yet to take a call on whether to re-auction these four mines.

"For the Schedule III mines (ready-for-production), the Nominated Authority will enter into pacts with successful bidders on March 16," the official said.

Fourteen mines under Schedule III were sold during the second tranche from March 4 to March 9 to firms -- Usha Martin, Adani Power, JSW Steel, Mandakini Exploration and Mining, Trimula Industries, Hindalco, Indrajit Power Private Ltd, Jindal Power, GMR Chhattisgarh Energy, Ambuja Cements, Jaypee Cement, Araanya Mines Private Ltd, and Monnet Power.

 The blocks sold in the second tranche included Brinda & Sasai, Jitpur, Moitra, Mandakini, Meral, Dumri, Nerad Malegaon, Tara, Ganeshpur, Gare Palma, Mandla South, Lohari and Utkal C.

The official said vesting order for Schedule III mines would be issued to companies on April 2.

The coal auction kitty has crossed Rs two lakh crore mark surpassing CAG's estimate of Rs 1.86 lakh crore lost due to allocating mines without auction during the previous regimes.

Auctions were necessitated after the Supreme Court in September last year cancelled allocations of 204 blocks since 1993, saying their allocation was "arbitrary and illegal".

PTI

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