Ending Coal India’s Monopoly: Private Companies Place Bids For Coal Blocks, Can Now Sell 25 Per Cent  In Open MarketRepresentative image. (Daniel Berehulak /Getty Images)

On Wednesday (19 December 2018), private companies submitted technical bids to acquire coal blocks, allowing them to sell 25 per cent of the total coal output in the open market, reports Economic Times (ET). Companies operating in the iron & steel, cement and thermal power sectors, participated in the auction.

The new auction is the culmination of the NDA government's move to improve the efficiency of India’s coal mining sector, which has been hampered due to the decades-long monopoly of the state-run Coal India Ltd. It is the world’s largest coal production company.

In February 2018, the Union Cabinet, chaired by PM Modi, gave its approval to allow private firms to undertake coal mining operations in the country. This is expected to enable power, cement and steel producers to reasonably access coal without being overly dependent on a single producer.

The government has had to push back deadlines for the different stages of auction due to high interest received from the private sector. According to the latest revision, the last date for submitting technical bids is 2 January 2019 and price-based bidding for block auction would be held between 14 January and 27 January 2019.

However, it should be noted that many coal blocks that were previously reallocated by the government following the Supreme Court judgement, are yet to begin operations. Some of the reasons for this state of affairs are delays in receiving forest clearances, mining-safety permissions, land acquisition and ongoing litigation.

Also Read: Making Mining Great Again: Understanding Modi’s Big Bet On Coal Privatisation

An Appeal...

Dear Reader,

As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.

Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.

We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.

Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.

Become A Patron
Become A Subscriber