Fourth round of coal block auctions cancelled

New Delhi, Dec 30 (IANS) The government on Wednesday cancelled the fourth round of coal block auction scheduled in January 2016 owing to a lukewarm response.

“We have not got sufficient number of bids to carry on with the coal block auctions, so in view of this, we had to annul the process,” said Coal Secretary Anil Swarup.

Adverse market conditions, depressed commodity prices and poor response from sectors like steel contributed to the axing of the coal auction which was scheduled from January 18 – 22, 2016.

The coal secretary said the mines proposed to be auctioned were set aside for non-regulated sectors like captive power plants, cement and iron and steel which were hit by adverse market conditions, and the government wants to wait and watch for the right time to auction the mines.

“We will look at the market situation and offer again. Right now it appears that in general commodity prices are depressed so are the coal prices,” added Swarup.

More than Rs.3 lakh crore were raised through the previous three coal auctions.

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