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Coal block auction unlocks Rs 4 lakh crore so far, says Anil Swarup

Coal block auction unlocks Rs 4 lakh crore so far, says Anil Swarup

"Out of 67 blocks auctioned or allotted, a total benefit of Rs 3,35,000 crore is for states and another Rs 69,000 crore will be unlocked," Coal Secretary Anil Swarup said.

By the third week of April, sixteen coal blocks will be put under hammer. (Photo: Reuters) By the third week of April, sixteen coal blocks will be put under hammer. (Photo: Reuters)

The auctions and allotments of 67 coal blocks so far has unlocked a total value of nearly Rs 4 lakh crore, Coal Secretary Anil Swarup said in Kolkata on Sunday.

"Out of 67 blocks auctioned or allotted, a total benefit of Rs 3,35,000 crore is for states and another Rs 69,000 crore will be unlocked by way of tariff benefit to the consumers," Swarup said on Sunday at the Coal Consumers' Association of India interactive session in the West Bengal capital.

Till now, 29 blocks have been auctioned and another 38 allotted to the state-run entities.

The passing of the Coal Mines Special Provisions Bill, 2015 in Parliament allows the government to continue auctioning coal blocks to private companies.

By the third week of April, sixteen coal blocks will be put under hammer, of which 11 will be for the power sector and the rest for the non-regulated sector.

The coal secretary said the government was deliberating on the segmentation of industries for the non-regulated sector for allowing a level-playing field.

"I support the demand for segmentation of industries, like sponge iron, which should not be competing with cement bidder and we will also not differentiate between two companies of the same industry," he said.

Replying to a question, Swarup said that the government was deliberating on further lowering the end-use investment for blocks which will come in the next 2-3 years.

He assured that none of the coal blocks is going to washeries.

The coal secretary also expressed the confidence that with 204 blocks lined up to be allotted by March, 2016 in a transparent manner with a peak capacity of 800-900 million tonnes, 500 million tonnes of coal would be produced by 2020 to meet the 1.5 billion-tonne coal production target.