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Coal mine auction: Third round likely next month

Coal-scamThe third round of coal block auction may get off the ground next month, a top official said Monday.

“The third round of coal mines auction may begin in May,” Coal Secretary Anil Swarup said here.

The government may come out with a notice inviting application for the mines for the next round of auction next week.

The ministry may put up 23 blocks this time.

The government had earlier said the auction for the third round will begin later this month.

“Most of the clearances of the coal blocks (to be auctioned in the third lot) are there,” he had said.

Swarup had earlier tweeted that states will receive Rs 466 crore as first tranche while the Centre will not keep any revenue from this upfront payment by bidders.

The government has garnered over Rs 2 lakh crore by auctioning off 29 blocks in two phases, surpassing the presumptive loss of Rs 1.86 lakh crore estimated earlier by the CAG.

Parliament had last month approved Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Bill, 2015, which formed a crucial cog in the NDA government’s reforms wheel.

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