NEW DELHI:The government will likely offer 62 coal blocks for commercial mining of the fuel in an auction set to be launched next week. 

Newly-appointed coal minister G. Kishan Reddy has directed officials to ensure complete transparency and revenue maximization, according to a statement.

“During the 10th round of auction, about 62 blocks are likely to be offered without end-user restrictions. Coal produced from these commercial blocks is permitted to be sold by the allocattee in free market,” the statement added.

Commercial coal block auctions were first started in 2020. Since then, in nine rounds, the ministry has auctioned 107 coal blocks with 256 million tonnes of peak rated capacity.

11 commercial coal blocks operationalized so far

So far, 11 commercial coal blocks have been operationalized. In the last financial year, 17.5 million tonnes coal was produced from commercial blocks.

Also Read: Govt plans greener use of coal, mines as production surges

The ministry of coal has also developed a coal block portal on PM Gatishakti National Master Plan in order to facilitate proper visibility of geographical features for bidders, the statement added.

For FY25, the ministry has targeted 186.63 million tonnes (MT) of production from these captive and commercial coal mines, and in January it said that plans were in place for production to be increased to 225.69 MT during FY26, with an eventual target of 383.56 MT by FY30.

These auctions are a key mode of asset monetization for the coal ministry.

On 1 April, Mint reported that the coal ministry is targeting a monetization of assets worth about 54,721 crore in FY25, about 9% higher than 50,118 crore target in FY24.

This will be the first round of auctions after Reddy took over as the minister this week.

Also Read: Govt seeks proposals for coal gasification under VGF scheme

Reddy has also been allocated the ministry of mines. A statement from the ministry of mines on Friday said that Reddy held a review meeting with the senior officials of ministry, CPSEs and attached offices. Minister of state Satish Chandra Dubey was also present.

During the meeting, the minister was presented an overview of the ministry. The achievements of the mines ministry and long-term plans were also discussed. The discussion focused on crucial aspects including automation, innovation, sustainability and deploying advanced technologies to make India self-reliant in the mining sector, said the statement.

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Published: 14 Jun 2024, 09:13 PM IST

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