Government garners Rs4,264 cr after 3rd tranche of coal auction

With Jaypee Cement placing the winning bid of Rs1,835 crore for Majra mine in Maharashtra, the government's revenue at the end of the third tranche of coal auction stood at Rs4,364 crore from the sale of three coal blocks.

The government, on the first day of the auction, had garnered over Rs2,500 crore from the sale of Marki Mangli block in Maharashtra and Bhaskarpara coal block in Chattisgarh.

''JP Cements bids the highest Rs1,230 for Majra coal block,'' coal secretary Anil Swarup tweeted. Other firms in the fray for this block, which has extractable reserves of 14.92 million tonnes, were ACC Cement, JK Lakshmi Cement, Crest Steel and Power, Emami Cement, and Grace Industries.

While the first two tranches of the coal auction had fetched the government over Rs2 lakh crore from the auction of 29 mines, the third round saw bidding of only 3 mines as against planned 10 mines.

While four blocks were withdrawn due to lack of bids received for them at the technical qualification stage, the auction for the Jamkhani coal mine in Odisha had to be postponed due to an ongoing litigation.

Likewise, on Wednesday, the government was forced to defer the selling of the Chitarpur coal mine in Jharkhand due to litigation and also withdraw Parbatpur Central (Jharkhand) mine from the sell-off on representation that it contains gas.

The coal block auctions are taking place following the Supreme Court's decision last year to cancel the allocation of 204 coal mines. Majra mine was earlier allotted to Gondwana Ispat.

On Tuesday, Topworth Urja and Metals emerged top bidder for Marki Mangli block with bid of Rs712/tonne and will give the State Rs.1,816.5 crore over 30 years. For Bhaskarpara, Crest Steel and Power placed the winning bid of Rs.755/ tonne and will be paying Rs712 crore to the state.