New Delhi [India], March 25 (ANI): Union Minister Pralhad Joshi on Thursday launched the county's second tranche of auction for commercial coal mining offering 67 mines for the sale of coal and said the government was making coal the driver of economic activities in the country.
"We are making coal the driver of economic activities in the country. There are huge opportunities that the Indian coal sector is offering. Therefore, I invite investors to come and be a part of vastly untapped coal reserves in the country. Grow your businesses and take India along on the growth course," Joshi said in a statement.
The Minister added that commercial coal mining will bring in new investments, create huge employment opportunities and boost socio-economic development in coal-bearing states. A market-based coal economy will help the nation become Aatmanirbhar in coal.
Joshi also said looking at the past success, the government is moving towards adopting a 'rolling auction' mechanism for conducting future auctions. "Coal is the first mineral resource where rolling auction mechanism is being implemented in which a pool of coal blocks will always remain available for auctions."
"With rolling auctions, we will upload a comprehensive list of mines along with key technical data and bidders can submit their preferences for the mines to be included in the next tranche of auction. This would be a continuous process and would result in expediting the auction setup. Moreover, it will also help bidders in planning better and would further enhance transparency in the system," he said.
This is the highest number of mines on offer in a particular tranche of auction after the commencement of the auction regime since 2014.
Out of the total 67 mines offered by the ministry of coal, 23 mines are under CM(SP) Act and 44 under MMDR Act. The coal mines on offer are a mix of mines with small and large reserves, coking and non-coking mines and fully and partially explored mines spread across six states -- Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.
Notably, 19 mines were successfully auctioned in the first-ever tranche of commercial coal mining auctions held last year with the premium quoted by the successful bidders ranging from 9.5 per cent to 66.75 per cent. The agreements between the Ministry of Coal and the successful bidders were signed in January this year. (ANI)