Consultancy firm Crisil has sought three weeks’ time from the coal ministry to develop methodology for coal block auctions.
The ministry had mandated Crisil to develop coal block auction criterion that match up to the international standards and Crisil was expected to make its detailed presentations on Thursday.
Officials in the coal ministry said they want the consultancy firm to develop an auction methodology that could allow bidding process to go ahead without conducting full exploration of a coal block.
“The exploration process in a coal block is time consuming and it usually takes around 2-3 years. We want Crisil to help us in this aspect as the government cannot afford to wait for that long,” said a senior coal ministry official.
The official said Crisil sought time to develop methodologies on these lines.
There are 54 fresh blocks that the government would award through an auction process developed by Crisil.
Globally, during bidding for a coal block a private firm offers premium beyond the royalty to the concerned government without physically exploring the block.
“Whosoever bids maximum beyond the royalty is given the block with the commitment to vacate one-third of the block every year and have the option of exiting out after three years,” the official said.
The coal ministry has also sought written advice from the ministry of law on the fate of coal blocks allocated to five companies under the CBI scanner.