Coal auction rains revenue bonanza, touches Rs 1.57 lakh crore
PTI March 9, 2015
In another revenue bonanza from the ongoing auction of coal mines, the government on Sunday garnered Rs 5,164 crore from sale of two more mines to Jaypee Cement and Ambuja Cements with cumulative proceeds surging to Rs 1.57 lakh crore.
The auction for Ganeshpur mine in Jharkhand, which is meant for power sector, is still on.
On the fourth day of second tranche of ongoing auctions, in fierce biddings that lasted for hours, Ambuja Cement clinched Gare-Palma Sector-IV/8 block in Chhattisgarh while Jaypee Cement Corporation grabbed Mandla-South block in Madhya Pradesh.
"Gare Palma IV/8 closes at (Rs) 2,291. Ambuja Cements is highest bidder. Jaypee Cement highest bidder at (Rs) 1852 for Mandla South," Coal Secretary Anil Swarup said.
These two mines would contribute a cumulative Rs 5,164 crore to the state exchequer.
The government generated a revenue of Rs 1.52 lakh crore till on Saturday that included over Rs one lakh crore from auction of 19 mines in the first round.
Two more coal blocks - Utkal C and Lohari - will be put up for auction when bidding starts tomorrow.
The amount of proceeds has been calculated based on extractable reserves and highest bid price.
"Auction for Ganeshpur block, which is for power sector, began at 11 am with Rs 100 bid. For Mandla South, the auction began at Rs 1,850 per tonne while for Gare Palma IV/8, it started at Rs 1,675 per tonne," an official told PTI.
During the first three days of the second tranche of coal auction, the government has sold nine mines mostly in eastern states to players like Adani, Hindalco, JSW and Jindal among others for Rs 43,307 crore.
The blocks sold in the second tranche include Dumri, Tara, Nerad Malegaon, Mandakini, Meral, Jitpur, Moitra, Brinda and Sasai.
In the second leg of the coal block auction, government has put up 15 blocks for sale, which are under the 'ready-for- production' category. It has sold 12 out of these 15.
The auctions follow the Supreme Court's decision last year to cancel the allocation of 204 coal mines.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earlier this month said that CAG's astronomical Rs 1.86 lakh crore loss figure in coal block allocations had raised some doubts initially, but the auction of less than 10 per cent of those mines (19 mines in first tranche) alone has garnered Rs 1.10 lakh crore.
Official auditor CAG had earlier said that mines allocation without auction during the UPA period led to loss of staggering Rs 1.86 lakh crore.
Meanwhile, bidding for Ganeshpur coal block is closed now with GMR Chhatisgarh Energy bagging it for Rs 6,463 crore.
Coal Secretary Swarup said Ganeshpur coal block closes at Rs 704 per tonne.