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New Delhi, Sept 18

The meeting of the empowered committee of secretaries on evaluation of bids for awarding 10 coal bed methane (CBM) blocks held today remained inconclusive. According to sources, the consultations are expected to resume on Wednesday.

The Cabinet Secretary chaired the meeting. The issue become controversial when Reliance Natural Resources Ltd (RNRL), which had bid for all the 10 blocks along with an international consortium, raised objections over the methodology of selecting the winners.

On August 31, the award of the blocks was taken up at the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), when it was decided to defer a decision and instead refer the issue to an empowered committee of Secretaries for further consideration on technical grounds.

The empowered committee consists of the Secretaries of the Petroleum, Coal, Finance and Law Ministries.

Apart from the RNRL consortium, Arrow Energy-GAIL (India)-EIG Infrastructure Group-Tata Power is expected to get two blocks and Arrow Energy-GAIL-EIG may get one.

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(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated September 19, 2006)
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