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54 new coal blocks identified for allocation

New Delhi: December 17,2012

The Government has identified 54 coal blocks with total Geological Reserves of about 18.22 Billion Tonnes (BT) and earmarked for allocation. Out of the above, 16 blocks with 7.27 BT reserves for Government companies, 16 blocks with 8.16 BT for power sector including Government companies and companies selected through tariff based bidding and 22 blocks with 2.79 BT for companies selected through auction. It has been decided to allocate the blocks after detailed exploration for auction and for power projects to be selected on the basis of tariff based bidding. This was stated by the Minister of State in the Ministry of Coal, Shri Pratik Prakashbapu Patil in a written reply in Rajya sabha today.

He said that requests from various State Governments including State Government of Karnataka are received for allocation of coal blocks from time to time. However, Government has not presently invited applications from the State Governments for allocation of coal blocks.

The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2010 provides for grant of reconnaissance permit, prospecting licence or mining lease in respect of an area containing coal and lignite through auction by competitive bidding, on such terms and conditions as may be prescribed. This, would however, not be applicable in the following cases:-
v where such area is considered for allocation to a Government company or corporation for mining or such other specified end use;
v where such area is considered for allocation to a company or corporation that has been awarded a power project on the basis of competitive bids for tariff (including Ultra Mega Power Projects).

The Government has notified the “Auction by Competitive Bidding of Coal Mines Rules, 2012” on 2nd February, 2012. Further, the notification on the commencement of the said Amendment Act, 2010 has also been notified by the Ministry of Mines on 13th February, 2012. The coal/lignite blocks can only be allocated under the amended Act and above mentioned Rules.

 
PIB Release/DL/1276
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