The Odisha Government on Tuesday requested the Central Government to defer the coal block auction by three months in view of the unfavourable market situation due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
In a letter to Union Coal Minister Prahlad Joshi, State Steel and Mines Minister Prafulla Mallik stated, “The coal trading has been adversely affected by COVID-19 outbreak, the market value of coal has significantly gone down in comparison to the last year.”
“If the auction process will be allowed, the government may not be in profit or better price of mineral resources as the chances apprise the highest bidding price for these mine blocks will below.
An inadequate response to the auction would have a negative impact on the state’s revenue collection for long as the lease period of coal blocks is 30 years,
Nine of total 41 coal mines listed by Central Government for auction for Commercial Mining are from Odisha, and around 10,750 million tonnes of coal are reserved in these blocks.
The last date to submit the bid is29 September and the e-auction would be held from 19 October to 9 November 2020, for coal mines.
Urging the Centre to defer the e-auction of coal blocks until the situation improved in the post-COVID-19 period, the minister instructed the authorities concerned should be recommended to postpone the process.
The nine blocks which have been identified for auctioning mining in the coastal state include Chendipada, Chendipada, Machhakata, Mahanadi, Radhikapur, Radhikapur Brahmanbil and Kardabahal, Kuraloi, North and Phuljhari.