India’s largest coal mine auction

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India's largest coal mine auction

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman launched the largest coal mine auction on November 3, 2022.

Current Affairs Important Points

About the largest coal mine auction

  • In the sixth round of commercial coal auctions, the Union Coal Ministry has put up 141 mines in 11 states for auction, with a cumulative peak rate (PRC) of 305 million tonnes. Of these, 71 are new coal mines, 61 are rollovers from earlier segments and 8 have previously received single bids and the 5th round is the second attempt at commercial coal auctions.
  • These coal mines are located in Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Bihar. The states with the highest number of blocks are Madhya Pradesh (30), Chhattisgarh (28) and Odisha (27).
  • During the launch of the sixth round of coal auctions, the Union Finance Minister urged investors to simultaneously focus on coal gasification as the Government of India will invest Rs 6,000 crore. Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme will be launched. Coal gasification is a cleaner option than burning coal. It is the process of partially oxidizing coal with air, oxygen, stream or carbon dioxide to form fuel gas (syngas).

Government of India started auction of which commercial coal mine?

  • The Government of India launched the auction of commercial coal mines for the first time in the country in June 2020. This was done to increase domestic coal production to a level that would enable India to export the fossil fuel. In the first tranche, 41 coal mines were auctioned.
  • From June 2020 to November 2 this year, the Government of India has auctioned 64 coal mines with a PRC of 152 MT. Some of these coal mines will start operations as early as 2022. Two years after the start of the first tranche, India still imports about 200 million tonnes of coal. Coal exports from India are almost non-existent.
  • Commercially auctioned coal mines bring in an investment of Rs 22,862 crore and provide direct or indirect employment opportunities to more than 2 lakh people.
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