March 8, 2017 - India's government will release a discussion paper this month for framing rules and regulations to auction coal blocks for commercial mining by private players, a top official said today.
Commercial mines are alloted without specifying the end use and allow private entities to sell the fuel to buyers across sectors such as power, cement and steel.
The government has identified four coal blocks which would be put up for auction in the next fiscal.
The Coal Ministry will come out with the discussion paper this month and it will contain the procedure of auction of coal blocks, eligibility criteria and other issues, Coal Secretary Susheel Kumar told PTI.
It will be put up on the ministry's website seeking comments from stakeholders, he said. "After that we will issue the tender."
Kumar said: "In the discussion paper we will mention as to how many mines would be auctioned, what would be the procedure of auction, what would be the eligibility criteria -- all these things would be there."
As per the the Coal Mines Special Provision Act of 2015, government can open up commercial coal mining for private players. The government had earlier allowed state utilities to commercially mine coal and sell to private companies.