In what could cast a shadow on the on-going coal block auctions, the government has reportedly said that that it will re-examine bids for 5 more coal blocks while delaying the process of signing agreement with the coal block allottees. According to media reports, the re-examination is on the grounds of bid timings and the amount of the bid.
The coal blocks in question are Tara Coal Block won by Jindal Power at Rs.126/Tn, Brinda & Sasai block won by Usha Martin at Rs.1804/Tn, Meral Coal Block won by Tirumala Ind at Rs.727/Tn, Dumri Coal Block won by Hindalco at Rs.2,127/Tn and Mandla South won by Jaypee Cements at Rs.1,852/Tn. These blocks were part of the second round of auctioning. Previously, the government has also held back 3 producing blocks for similar reasons.
The coal block auctions have helped government mop up close to Rs. 2 lakh crore, which is more than what was estimated by CAG after the Coalgate scandal. The CAG estimated Rs 1.86 lakh crores for the scam, making it one of the biggest scams in India.States such as Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and West Bengal have been some of the biggest beneficiaries of the coal auctions.