Government today said there would be no auction of coal blocks for at least next two to three months as at present there are not many takers of mines.
“I don’t see auction of coal blocks in the near future at least in the next two to three months….We feel that this may be not the right time for going ahead with auctioning of mines because there are not many takers of coal,” Coal Secretary Anil Swarup told reporters here.
The secretary further said at present there are no plans for opening up the sector to private parties and the government will consider on the same as the demand for coal picks up.
“People have been asking me what is the next step towards commercial mining. In commercial mining, we come across another problem. We really don’t know whether there would be any takers. Going by the experience, we had in the last round of auction there were hardly any takers so now what problem comes is that the dilemma that we face,” Swarup said.
The secretary further said that ground work on the commercial mining for the private sector is already done.
“Everything is ready. The day we want to do it within 15 days we can get cracking. (We have) discussed with industry, there has been across the board consultations (on the same)” the coal secretary said.
Swarup further said that within a week or ten days it will approach cabinet with regard to auction of coal linakges for the power sector.
He said the government has asked states to buy coal from Coal India Ltd’s growing stockpiles.