Coal auction: Usha Martin bags 2 blocks in Jharkhand

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Mar 04, 2015 23:12 IST

Steel producer Usha Martin bagged Brinda and Sasai coal blocks in Jharkhand for Rs 1,804 per tonne, in the second round of auctions that began on Wednesday.

The four blocks — two each of Brinda and Sasai — had earlier been allotted to Abhijeet Infrastructure, and has extractable reserves of 15.2 million tonnes. Others in race for the four blocks were BALCO and Sesa Sterlite.

Unlike the first round of coal auctions which saw aggressive bidding by companies, the second phase is not expected to be as competitive because the blocks on offer are non-operational as of now.

More than 80 applications were deemed technically qualified to bid in the second round, which was to have begun in February.

However, the government put it off to March 4 due to litigation issues.

As many as 14 blocks will be on offer in the second phase, which is to go on till March 31.

The e-auction will bring Rs 1 lakh crore to coal-rich states, and Rs 12,800 crore as royalty over the next 30 years, coal secretary Anil Swarup had said after the first phase.

Round one of the process had 19 operational up for grabs. But the government released names of just 15 successful bidders.

LS passes coal bill

Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Bill, 2015, which allows for e-auction of the 214 coal blocks whose earlier allocation was cancelled by Supreme Court (SC). The Bill will replace two ordinances issued first in October 2014 and then in December the same year. The SC order had led to uncertainty in the coal sector.

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