New Delhi: Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman launched the 6th round of coal mine actioning by the ministry of coal at a function held on Thursday. It is the biggest ever auctioning in which mining rights of as many as 141 coal mines, spread in 11 states including Jharkhand and Bihar, will be offered to the qualified parties.
On the occasion, Sitharaman said that a fast growing economy like India needs greater investment in coal production and gasification projects. Globally, energy prices especially that of gas is going up and India is at present may be the best investment destination in the world, she added.
Coal import for power sector comes down by 41%
The minister pointed out the coal imports for power sector has come down by 41% due to policy consistency and transparent process of the present government.
Centre to provide ₹6000-Cr incentive for coal gasification
Coal, mines & parliamentary affairs minister Pralhad Joshi said that coal ministry is exploring alternative methodology for enhanced use of coal. “The finance ministry has extended ₹6000 crore incentive for coal gasification and ₹250 crore for exploration processes,” said Joshi, adding that it was the biggest auction undertaken so far as 141 mines pertaining to eleven states have been auctioned.
Coal production to go up to 900 MT this year
The previously auctioned mines have started production and around 10 to 15 million ton coal is likely be produced from new mines by next year. As per the review done the other day, the coal ministry is anticipating 900 million ton coal production this year.
133 mines put up for auctioning for 6th round
Of the total mines, 133 coal mines were put up for auction in the 6th round of commercial auctions, out of which 71 are new coal mines and 62 coal mines are rolling over from earlier tranches of commercial auctions. Additionally, eight coal mines under 2nd attempt of 5th round of commercial auctions were included for which single bids were received in the first attempt. With the launch of this auction tranche, the coal ministry re-affirms its commitment to attain self-sufficiency in the area of thermal coal.
Mines under protected forest cover excluded
Mines falling under protected areas, wildlife sanctuaries, critical habitats, having forest cover greater than 40%, heavily built-up area etc. have been excluded. The block boundaries of some of the coal mines where there was presence of dense habitation, high green cover or critical infrastructure etc. have been modified based on comments received during stakeholder consultations to enhance bidders’ interest and participation in these coal blocks.
11 states including Jharkhand & Bihar to benefit
The mines being auctioned are spread across coal/ lignite bearing states of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Bihar.
Key features of auctioning process
Key features of the auction process include reduction in upfront amount and bid security amount, permission to relinquish part of the coal mine in case of partially explored coal mines, introduction of National Coal Index and National Lignite Index, ease of participation with no entry barriers, full flexibility in coal utilisation, optimized payment structures, incentives for early production, coal gasification and usage of clean coal technologies.
Tender details can be accessed at MSTC auction platform
The commencement of sale of tender document shall start from November 03, 2022. Details of the mines, auction terms, timelines etc. can be accessed on MSTC auction platform. The auction shall be held online through a transparent two stage process, on the basis of percentage revenue share. SBI Capital Markets Limited, the sole transaction advisor to ministry of coal for the commercial coal mine auctions, had devised the methodology and is assisting the coal ministry in conducting the auction process.
Minister of state for coal, mines & railways Raosaheb Patil Danve, coal secretary Amrit Lal Meena and additional secretary M Nagaraju addressed the function.