India’s coal ministry revises timeline of second tranche of coal mine auctions

The coal ministry on Tuesday announced revision in the timeline of the second tranche of auctions for commercial mining. In a statement, the ministry said the last date for registration of bidders and sale of tender documents on the MSTC website and the bid due date have been revised.

The last date for submission of bids has been extended to 8 July, 2021. The revised timeline will be uploaded on the MSTC website, it added.

In March this year, the government had put up 67 coal mines for sale, launching the second tranche of commercial coal mining auctions and termed it a step towards ‘AatmanirbharBharat’. In the largest ever coal mine auction, this second tranche has a resource base of 36 billion tonnes of fossil fuel.  

This is the highest number of mines on offer in a particular tranche after commencement of the auction regime in 2014. Of the total 38 coal blocks offered in the first round of auctions for commercial coal mining, the government successfully auctioned 20 mines.

Further, starting form this tranche, the government is introducing a rolling auction mechanism “wherein any un-auctioned mine shall remain available for auction on the portal, with more mines being added as and when available.” 

India has the world’s fourth largest reserves and is the second-largest producer of coal. With global shift to green energy to address growing environmental concerns, the Indian government is trying to harness coal reserves within the next three decades.

The two-stage auction process allows bidders to quote the percentage revenue share over the reserve price. Besides there will be no restriction on the sale and utilization of coal from the mines. Earlier, blocks were allocated to companies on payment of fixed amounts per tonne.

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