Govt asks CIL arm to appoint 2 consultants for coal mine bids

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The government has asked Coal India Ltd's mine planning and consultancy arm CMPDIL to appoint two separate consultants, including Crisil, to help in the process of coal mine auction.

"CMPDIL was requested to consider appointing two separate consultants for auctioning and evaluation of bids (with regard to coal blocks) at the earliest," said a Coal Ministry note highlighting discussions in a meeting held under the Chairmanship of Coal secretary S K Srivastava recently.

The meeting was held to review the progress with regard to the proposed coal blocks to be auctioned.

It was also suggested during the meeting that since Crisil was already appointed as consultant by CMPDIL to suggest methodology for fixing floor/reserve price and has gained experience in dealing with the subject matter, "CMPDIL may consider the possibility of engaging Crisil as consultant, to assist it in the process of auction of coal mines".

Discussions were also held on the issue of work related to evaluation of application/bids with regard to coal blocks and the same to be done by CMPDIL on behalf of Coal Ministry.

"It was also observed that allocation has been done to government companies and hence it is necessary that auction is expedited. In view of the above, CMPDIL may consider engaging Crisil on retainer ship basis for a period of three months through nomination," it said.

Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal had earlier said that the auction of coal blocks may happen in March.

An official had said the government's aim was to auction 10 blocks in the first tranche instead of the six planned initially.

The Coal Ministry had asked CMPDIL to assess the reserves of four more mines and submit its report.

The Cabinet has already approved the methodology for auction, providing for upfront and production-linked payments and benchmarking of coal sale prices.

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