At first, the pvt sector obtains coal blocks with freedom to sell a 25% production

NEW DELHI: The coal ministry on Thursday assigned five coal mines to Birla Corporation, Vedanta, Prakash Industries and Powerplus Traders in the first block auction in four years, which for the first time gives operators the freedom to sell 25% of production in the market.

The freedom to sell a quarter of the production is considered the precursor of commercial mining in the country, which has been authorized by the government.

Birla Corporation pocketed the Bikram and Brahmapuri blocks in Madhya Pradesh , quoting prices of Rs 154 and Rs 156 per tonne, respectively. Vedanta quoted Rs 1,674 per tonne for Jamkhana mine in Odisha. Prakash Industries bagged Bhaskarpara block in Chhattisgarh at Rs 1,100 per tonne and Powerplus Traders was allottd Jagannathpur B block in west of bengal at Rs 185 per ton.

The ministry expects a revenue share of 17,136 crore, excluding royalties, levies and taxes in its 30-year useful life. The auction was launched last month for 27 mines for unregulated sectors.

The government believes that the production of these mines will alleviate the need for imports and create opportunities for direct and indirect livelihoods.