The government on Wednesday kick-started the process of allocating cancelled coal mines to state-owned firms, saying that it will initially allot 36 blocks.
Of these 36 coal blocks, one mine will be given to the steel sector while the rest will be given to the power sector.
"Except one block which will be going for steel sector, rest will be for power sector," coal secretary Anil Swarup told reporters in New Delhi.
"Today we are issuing notification for allotment of 36 coal blocks. More mines would be added subsequently depending on the requirement. So it will depend on the request we receive from the state entities, public sector entities," he added.
The ministry is also issuing guidelines for these coal blocks, he said, adding that those firms which already have linkages will have to surrender them.
"We have enabled such public entities that have already coal linkages. They can surrender the coal linkages and then apply for coal blocks...and once the linkage gets surrendered that much coal will be made available to Coal India to be given to other entities who are in need of coal," he said.
The government, Swarup said, will be able to complete execution of allotment agreement by the end of next month.
He further said that for schedule II (producing mines) category 23 blocks will be put on offer and the auction would be between February 14 and February 22 and the vesting orders will be issued by March 23.
With regard to Schedule III mines (ready to produce mines) he said another set of 23 mines will be auctioned between February 25 and March 5. However the vesting orders will be issued by April 2, he said.
"We started with 42 mines in schedule II and 32 mines in schedule III. Subsequently 27 mines were transfered from schedule I to schedule III thereby taking the number to 101," he said.
As the coal ministry examined the details of all the col block details, it was discovered that there were three blocks in "No Go" area, adding that "Out of 101 mines we are looking at 98 mines," he said.
With regard to mines to be auctioned in schedule II category so far 87 distinct bidders have purchased 224 forms, while in the case of mines to be put on offer in the Schedule III category, the companies have so far purchased 82 forms.
He further said that around 167 requests have been received from the companies for visiting the block sites.