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Govt working on auction for commercial mining

IANS | New Delhi |

The government is working on various auction models with regard to sale of coal blocks for commercial mining by private companies, a senior official said on Wednesday.

"We are formulating a proposal detailing the auction models to be considered by an inter-ministerial committee," Coal Joint Secretary Vivek Bharadwaj said.

An inter-ministerial panel under the chairmanship of coal secretary and members from ministries like power and finance would consider the auction models for commercial mining.

The official was speaking on the sidelines of a launch of a book titled 'India's Coal Story'.

India is in the process of throwing open commercial coal mining to private firms for the first time in four decades, with the aim of shifting the world's third-biggest coal importer towards energy self-sufficiency.

The government had earlier said that opening up of commercial coal mining to private companies will bring in competition in the coal sector and will reduce power tariff.

The government had said it wants to convey to potential investors that sustainable and efficient mining, not revenue maximisation, is the idea behind commercial coal auction.