67 commercial coal mines put up for auction in 10th tranche of bidding

67 commercial coal mines put up for auction in 10th tranche of bidding

67 commercial coal mines put up for auction in 10th tranche of bidding

HYDERABAD: The Centre expects to receive around 100 bids during the 10th round of the commercial coal auction that was flagged off by Union coal and mines minister G Kishan Reddy in Hyderabad on Friday, top coal ministry officials said.

As many as 67 coal mines from Telangana, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal and Odisha have been put on the block in this round, which marks the first time a coal auction was launched outside New Delhi.

The mines on offer include 29 fully explored mines, 38 partially explored mines and three coking coal mines.

Terming coal as black gold and a lifeline for the country, coal minister Kishan Reddy said the latest round is another step towards strengthening the country’s energy security by cutting down on import dependence and making India Aatmanirbhar, boosting economic growth and powering it towards its goal of emerging as a $5 trillion economy.

Pointing out that the country’s coal production has already hit 997 million tonnes (MT) in financial year 2023-24 (FY24), Kishan Reddy said the ministry has set a coal production target of 1080 MT for FY25.

The 107 mines successfully auctioned in the previous nine rounds are expected to bring in annual revenues of over Rs 38,000 crore to state govts and are expected to generate over 3 lakh direct and indirect jobs, he said.

The minister also pointed out that govt is taking various measures such as taking up coal gassification on priority with a goal of 100 MT by 2030, launch of a coking coal mission to achieve a coking coal production of 140 MT by 2030 in addition to setting up coal washeries, railway projects to ease coal transportation.

Pointing out that the country’s coal sector has grown at a CAGR of 11% in just the last two years, Union coal secretary Amritlal Meena the country spent Rs 3.8 lakh crore on coal imports in FY23, which came down to Rs 3.1 lakh crore in FY24 with plans to further reduce import dependence by half over a period of time.

The current coal consumption, which is 1.2 billion tonnes, is pegged to rise to 1.8 billion tonnes by 2035-2040, he said.

He said the ministry is also working on strengthening the capacity of state govt departments dealing with management of mines to boost the ease of doing business for bidders by ensuring quicker clearances.

Currently, 17 different state and central govt clearances are required. He said they have reduced the time taken from mine allotment to operations from 51 months to 36 months and want to reduce it further.

Additional coal secretary M Nagaraju said of the 107 coal mines successfully auctioned in the last three and a half years 11 are already functional and contributing to reducing the coal shortage in the country.

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