Model code of conduct may delay coal mine allotment

Debabrata Das New Delhi | Updated on January 20, 2018

Before kicking off the process of allotting coal mines to States and Central public sector units for commercial mining, the Ministry of Coal is assessing whether the procedure conforms to the model code of conduct of the Election Commission.

A senior official of the Coal Ministry said: “We have already identified 16 mines for allotment to state and central public sector units for commercial mining. We have to see that the allotment does not breach the model code of conduct before we start the process of inviting the PSUs for their interest in the mines and hand it over to them.” The Ministry, on March 16, issued a list of 16 mines for commercial mining by PSUs. Eight of these mines were reserved for the PSUs of the host-States. The estimated geographical coal reserve of the 16 mines is 1.489 billion tonnes. The Model Code of Conduct is applicable in Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Kerala and the Union Territory of Puducherry from March 4, when the State legislative assembly election dates were announced.

Amongst the list of mines that were identified, one mine — Gourangdih ABC — is in West Bengal.

The State and Central PSUs that want the mines need to pay a one time upfront amount of 10 per cent of the intrinsic value of the coal in the mine. Apart from this, the companies will also pay a monthly royalty based on the amount of coal mined every month.

Meanwhile, another official of the Coal Ministry said that so far 10 mines, out of the 28 mines auctioned to the private sector and 27 allocated to the Central and State PSUs, have started operations.

Published on March 27, 2016

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