New Delhi: The Cabinet on Wednesday approved re-promulgation of an Ordinance to facilitate e-auction of coal blocks for private companies for captive use and allot mines directly to state and central PSUs.

"Cabinet has cleared the Coal Ordinance," sources said after the meeting of the Union Cabinet.

The government had to go in for re-promulgation of the Ordinance as the Rajya Sabha could not take up the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Bill.

The Bill, which provides for fresh auction of 204 coal blocks de-allocated by the Supreme Court in September, remained pending in the Rajya Sabha even though the Lok Sabha passed it on December 12.

The Cabinet had on October 20 recommended promulgation of the earlier Ordinance to help e-auction of coal blocks.

The move came against the backdrop of the Supreme Court in September quashing allocation of 204 coal blocks to various companies since 1993.

The re-promulgation of the Ordinance will enable the coal ministry to go ahead with its decision to give a total 101 mines, including 65 through auction, in the first phase.

As many as 36 blocks will be directly allotted to state-owned companies. The government had increased the number of coal mines to be auctioned or allotted in the first tranche to 101, from 92.

Of the 101 blocks to be alloted and auctioned in the first lot, 63 mines would be given to the power sector, while the rest would be for sectors like steel and cement.