The government has postponed the schedule of coal mines to be allotted for commercial mining and will shortly come out with a modified one.
“This has reference to the document and schedule of the process dated April 21, 2016, for allotment of coal mines to state government companies of coal-bearing host states for sale of coal under the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, 2015,” the Coal Ministry said in a notice.
“It may kindly be noted that the present schedule of the… allotment process is being postponed. Modified scheduled shall be informed shortly.”
No reasons have been attributed for the same.
Moving ahead with its decision to open up the coal sector, the government had last month invited applications from public sector entities for allocation of eight mines that have been identified for commercial mining.
These eight mines will be allotted to host states. Among these, two blocks are in Madhya Pradesh, while one each is in Odisha, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Telangana and Chhattisgarh, an official said.
The government had come out with the notice inviting applications for the mines on April 21.
The government had earlier said that May 31 will be the last date for submission of applications and June 1 will be the application opening date.
The nominated authority would make recommendations to the Centre for selection of allottees on June 8, and on June 10, the results would be published and intimation to allottees would be made, the government had said.
The government further said July 15 will be the last date for furnishing of performance security and payment of fixed amount and first instalment of upfront amount while the allotment order will be issued on July 19.
The decision to open up coal sector is in line with the government’s target of doubling coal production to 1.5 billion tonnes by 2020. For Coal India, the target is 1 billion tonne.
Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal had earlier said the government will ensure coal demand of states, PSUs and small players is fully met before opening the sector for commercial mining by private companies.