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Ordinance on e-auction of coal blocks cleared by Centre

October 20, 2014 - New Delhi

  • Government has moved an ordinance for e-auction of coal blocks for private companies for captive use. The move comes in less than a month after the Supreme Court cancelled allocation of 214 coal blocks between 1993 and 2008. The ordinace also meant thta allotment of coal blocks to State and Central PSUs will be on a priority basis.
  • Addressing a press conference after Cabinet meeting, finance minister Arun Jaitley said that the Government intends to clean up the mess the UPA government has left behind from 2005 onwards. He said that India could use domestic coal instead of importing it annually worth $20 billion.
  • The Cabinet has decided to use a transparent system for the allocation of coal blocks which will be carried out in the next 3-4 months. The proceeds of the auction will directly go to the state government where these mines are located.
  • The Eastern states and Chhattisgarh will be the biggest beneficiaries along with state-owned organisations like NTPC and other state electricity boards. Government entities will not have to go through the auction route as a pool of coal mines will be reserved for allocation to them from the cancelled blocks.
  • States of Jharkhand, Orissa, Chattisgarh, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh will be the biggest beneficiaries as revenue earned from the auction will go to them directly.
  • The Finance minister further clarified that the process will not mean the denationalisation of Coal India.

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