To boost bidder participation in the commercial auction of coal mines, the government is organising an investor conclave on 1 December in Mumbai.
Union Minister of Coal, Mines and Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi will chair and Chief Minister of Maharashtra Eknath Shinde will be the chief guest at the conclave.
The list of mines has been finalised post detailed deliberations. Mines falling under protected areas, wildlife sanctuaries, critical habitats, having forest cover greater than 40 per cent, heavily built-up areas, 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 basis comments received during stakeholder consultations to enhance bidders’ interest and participation in these coal blocks.
Key features of the auction process include a reduction in the 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, efficiency promotion through incentives for early production and use of clean coal technology.
After the successful auction of 64 coal mines in the first five tranches, the Ministry of Coal launched the process for the auction of 133 coal mines under the sixth round of commercial auctions of which 71 coal mines are new coal mines and 62 coal mines are rolling over from earlier tranches of commercial auctions held in November.
Additionally, eight coal mines under the second attempt of the fifth round of commercial auctions were also launched where single bids were received in the first attempt.
Under commercial auctions, there are no technical or financial eligibility criteria and hence, several bidders who were not into coal mining earlier, became successful bidders and were awarded the coal mines.