Coal block auctions likely by end of current fiscal

The Centre is preparing the ground to commence the auction process by the end of current financial year despite the decision of the Supreme Court on coal block allotted since 1993.

The coal ministry is making preparation for auctioning of coal blocks and it will finalise the method to be adopted for auction by end of this year, said an official of the ministry.

Coal and power minister Piyush Goyal on Sunday said that his ministry is ready to face any scenario if the apex court cancelled all coal blocks allotted since 1993. Goyal said the government will ensure that power companies should get coal blocks without any delay and electricity production should not suffer due to non availability of fuel material.

Of the 218 coal block allocations, 80 were already de-allocated prior to the verdict. Of the remaining 138, 40 are operational with clear licences, while six others are ready to start operations.

The apex court has asked Central government, the three Associations - Coal Producers Association, Sponge Iron Manufacturers Association and Independent Power Producers Association of India - and petitioners to file their affidavits.

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