19 coalmines’ auction likely this quarter

After the cancellation of coalmines auction twice, the government is exploring certain relaxations for bidders and plans to put on sale 19 blocks in the current quarter, a top official has said.

The government had last year annulled the fifth round of auction on account of poor response from bidders.

“Yes we are wanting to do the next round of coal block auction. This is probably the right time,” coal secretary Susheel Kumar told PTI. “So in this quarter, it (coal block auction) should happen,” he added.

Of the 19 blocks to go under the hammer, 6 have been identified for the steel sector while the remaining 13 mines are for non-regulated sectors like cement, sponge iron and captive power, he said.