2 coal blocks allotted to Odisha Coal and Power

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New Delhi: The Centre has allotted 38 mines, including two coal blocks in Odisha, to various Central and State public sector units like power major NTPC, DVC and steel giant SAIL.

Most of the mines allotted yesterday fall in West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Odisha while one falls in Telangana. Odisha Coal and Power got two blocks – Manoharpur and Manoharpur Dipside – situated in Odisha.

Most of these 38 blocks have gone to the earlier allocatees. NTPC was the previous allottee of five blocks given to it, of which three fall in Jharkhand and one each in Chhattisgarh and Odisha.

All the blocks allotted are for the power sector, barring one Sitanala mine given to SAIL. The blocks which were not allotted included Mara II Mahan, Mahanadi Machchhakata, Chendipada and Chendipada-II in Odisha.

As per the original plan, the government had to allot 43 mines but it came out with the list of only 38 mines as there were no applications for some coal blocks, officials said. The Coal ministry had earlier received 107 applications from PSUs for allocation of 43 coal blocks.

The move comes on the heels of the auction of 33 coal blocks in two tranches to private companies with the government garnering over Rs 2 lakh crore, surpassing CAG’s earlier estimates of losses of Rs 1.86 lakh crore on allotment without auction.

The Supreme Court had in September cancelled the allocations of 204 blocks in all, terming the process as “fatally flawed”, leading the current round of auctions and allocations.

Parliament last week approved Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Bill, 2015, which forms part of NDA government’s reforms agenda, in the nick of time on the last day of the first half of Budget session and the ordinance on this were to lapse on April 5.

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