Have right to allocate coal blocks, Centre to tell SC
“We have not decided to postpone the coal auction process pending the issue. But will see how the matter develops before taking a final call,” Srivastava said. The court had said the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act did not provide for the Centre to allocate coal blocks. Incidentally, the Centre amended this Act in 2010 to pave the way for auction of captive coal blocks and reserve blocks for PSUs.
The coal ministry was ready to start auctions of 12 coal blocks under the new policy on coal block allocation. It has also invited applications from government companies for allocation of 17 coal blocks having reserves of 8.5 billion tonnes under the auction route. The completion of bidding process in these cases is expected to be held up till March when the Supreme Court is expected to clear the issue.
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