Coal ministry to appoint consultant for coal block allotment

The Central Mine Planning & Design Institute Limited (CMPDI), on behalf of the ministry of coal, has invited bids from service providers for appointment as consultants to advise the ministry on the valuation of coal blocks and the methodology for selection of successful coal block allottees.

The consultant would advice the ministry on the methodology for calculation of floor price/ reserve price for captive coal blocks, preparation of model tender documents for selection of successful coal block allottee and in the preparation of model agreement between the ministry and the successful allottee.

Parties can submit technical bids till 3:00 pm on 14 April 2012 and bids will be opened at 3:30 pm on the same day.

The proposal for appointing consultants for allocation of coal blocks comes after the leaking of the draft of a report prepared by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) that faulted the coal ministry for having failed to maximise returns on the allocation of coal blocks by auctioning them to the highest bidder.

Meanwhile, another report by The Times of India said Hansraj Ahir, a member of Parliament from Chandrapur, in Maharashtra was the first to raise the issue of a coal scam. Ahir, who is also a member of the parliamentary standing committee on coal, brought it up in 2006, the report said.

The ministry had allocated 23 coal blocks to various parties with estimated reserves of 50 billion tonnes ''free of cost'' after introducing a bill in Parliament for auctioning them. Of the 23 blocks, 20 were allotted to private parties, the report pointed out.