E-auction for commercial coal mines likely in October, results in November

The due date for submission of technical bids is 29 September and e-auction will be conducted during October-November.

New Delhi (Natural Energy news): The online auction of coal blocks for commercial mining and sale to private companies will begin in October and the final winners will be announced in November, the government notice on Saturday. The center has also extended the deadline for various procedures under the auction, including site visits, sale of tender documents and submission of technical bids.

In the revised schedule on MSTC's e-commerce portal, the last date for submission of queries by bidders, the designated authority for coal auction, has been extended to September 11. The first deadline to expire on 23 July has expired. The Ministry of Coal, many investors raised concerns about the timing of the auction of Kovid-19.

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Many investors asked the government to postpone the auction process for three months, mentioning that the bidders would be helped to make an informed decision.

As per the new schedule, the due date for submission of technical bids is 29 September and e-auction will be conducted during October-November. The last date to submit a request for a site visit has been extended to 18 September. It was on 15 July. The e-auction will start from October 19 and run till November 9, 2020.

The auction is a two-part round - technical and financial. The designated authority for coal auction - the level of Joint Secretary level of Ministry of Coal - will evaluate the technical bids. Bidders will be required to submit their eligibility criteria, along with the initial proposal to the nominating authority.

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In June, the Center started an auction of commercial mining and for sale - a coal mine by private companies. The bidding conditions were liberalized to attract foreign players, non-mining entities and large miners. In May, it amended the Coal Mines Special Provisions Act, 2015 to ease the auction process and attract significant investor interest.

Last week, the Center decided to restrict the entry of neighboring countries, including China, into commercial coal auctions. Earlier, the Center allowed 100 percent foreign direct investment (FDI) under the automatic route for coal processing activity, which included associated processing infrastructure.

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