Sunday 29 May 2022, 05:17 AM
Ministry re-examining 9 winning coal block auction bids
By IANS | Bharat Defence Kavach | Publish Date: 3/18/2015 12:00:00 AM
Ministry re-examining 9 winning coal block auction bids

New delhi : Even as the government races against time to secure have legislative sanction for the auction of cancelled coal blocks before parliament goes into its scheduled month-long recess on Friday, it is "re-examining" nine winning bids out of the 33 coal blocks auctioned so far.

The coal ministry will take a decision this week on whether there are any price discrepancies in case of the nine winning bids, including those made by companies like Jindal Steel and Balco.

The final decision on whether mine winning companies like Hindalco, Jindal Steel and Power, Jaypee Cements and Usha Martin would depend on the re-examination of these bids by the auction nominated authority.

Five of these blocks belong to Schedule III (near operational) category, while four are under Schedule II (operational), a coal ministry official told IANS on Wednesday.

The ministry is considering whether these bids were too low when compared with the winning bids for other similar blocks through an analytical tool called "outlier", which looks for unusual observations that are far removed from the mass of data, the source added.

"Not making any allegation of cartelisation as of now," Coal Secretary Anil Swarup tweeted on the matter.

He later told reporters that the governemnt was "looking at whether the price that was quoted is good enough for the government or not, and whether we could get a better price".

"The government can reauction the mines, it can allot the mines to the state and it can give the blocks to Coal India," he added.

The ministry is looking at instances like the Brinda and Sasai blocks, bidding for which opened at Rs.1,802 per tonne and closed at Rs.1,804 per tonne. Similarly, bidding for the Meral mine opened at Rs.725 a tonne and closed at Rs.727 a tonne.

Meanwhile, the Rajya Sabha Select Committees on Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill and the Coal Mines Bill on Tuesday recommended their approval without any change.

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Ministry re-examining 9 winning coal block auction bids

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