Things might not augur well for some of the companies involved in the coal auction process, as media reports suggest that winning bids for three of the 18 mines put up for auction last month are under question, and the coal ministry is looking into it.
The three companies which might face the heat are Jindal Steel and Power Ltd, steel maker BS Ispat and aluminium company Balco, which won bids for three mines in the recently concluded first phase of the coal auctions.
Jindal won Gare Palma IV 2 and 3, while Balco won Gare Palma IV-1. BS Ispat bagged Marki Mangli III block in Maharashtra.
None of the companies have confirmed to the news, however Coal Secretary Anil Swarup in an interview to Financial Express hinted at some "prima facie issues"
The Coal Ministry recently concluded the first phase of the coal auctions which is reported to fetch the government an estimated total of Rs. 15 lakh crore over the next 30 years.
The companies that had bagged the 19 blocks on offer include Reliance Cement, GMR Chhattisgarh, Hindalco, Sunflag Iron and Steel, Jaiprakash Associates, Jaiprakash Power Ventures, OCL Iron and Steel, Bharat Aluminium, Essar Power MP, Jindal Power and UltraTech Cement.
The auction of first lot of auction which began on February 14 closed on February 22.