Coal auction kitty hits Rs 2.07 lakh cr; surpasses CAG's estimate

  • PTI, New Delhi
  • Updated: Mar 10, 2015 15:35 IST

The coal auction kitty on Monday crossed Rs two lakh crore mark after two more mines went under the hammer today in the ongoing e-auction -- surpassing CAG's estimate of Rs 1.86 lakh crore lost due to allocating mines without auction during the previous regimes.

Coal minister Piyush Goyal said that "the transparent e-auction of 32 coal blocks, out of 204 cancelled coal blocks, has already yielded potential e-auction revenues, royalties and upfront payments of Rs 2.07 lakh crores, which is far in excess of CAG loss estimate of Rs 1.86 lakh crore."

On the fifth day of the second tranche of coal blocks auctions on Monday, two mines - Utkal C in Odisha and Lohari in Jharkhand are estimated to have fetched over Rs 11,000 crore.

The cumulative kitty of over Rs 2 lakh crore includes over Rs one lakh crore from sale of 19 mines in first tranche.

Complementing Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the ongoing auction, Goyal also said that the auctions would benefit 125 crore Indians "with lower cost of power".

Besides, coal-bearing states like Odisha, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra will "earn lakhs of crores of additional revenue".

The power fuel cost would come down by Rs 96,971 crores, resulting in power tariff savings for consumers, he added.

Coal secretary Anil Swarup said that the transparency in the auction process has paid rich dividends".

Modi had said earlier this month that CAG's astronomical Rs 1.86 lakh crore loss figure in coal block allocations had raised some doubts initially, but the auction of less than 10% of those mines (19 mines in first tranche) alone has garnered Rs 1.10 lakh crore.

Official auditor CAG had said that the mines allocation without auction during the previous regimes led to a loss of staggering Rs 1.86 lakh crore. The allotment of over 200 coal mines were later cancelled following a Supreme Court order, which led to the government announcing the ongoing auction.

The auction of Utkal C mine, for power sector, fetched an estimated Rs 9,537.22 crore. It was won by Monnet Power Company earlier in the day at a bid price of Rs 770 per tonne.

Bidding for Lohari block in Palamu district of Jharkhand was continuing till late on Monday night and could fetch over Rs 1,800 crore as per the latest bids.

Goyal said that Odisha, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Chhattishgarh would be the largest beneficiaries of the "honest and transparent e-auction".

In five days of the second leg of auction so far, mines have been mostly sold in eastern states to firms like Adani, Hindalco, JSW and Jindal.

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