Centre Restricts Bidding By Neighbouring Countries In Coal Mining Auction

New Delhi: As part of its earlier order, the Central government has restricted participation of companies from countries sharing a land border with India in the ongoing auction of coal mines by the private sector.

In a corrigendum issued by the Coal Ministry to the tender document for commercial coal mining said though 100 per cent FDI, under the automatic route, is permitted in the new activity, investment proposals or bids from countries sharing a land border with India will only be done through the government route. This would mean such proposals will first be vetted by the government before any participation is allowed.

In all, 41 mines with a total geological coal reserve of 17 billion tonnes are on offer under the first phase of commercial coal mine auctions. These include both large and small mines with peak rated capacities (PRC) ranging from 0.5 to 40 million tonne per annum (mtpa) of coal. The cumulative PRC of all mines is 225 mtpa.

The mines are located in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Odisha.

The tender document has also clarified that a citizen of Pakistan or an entity incorporated in Pakistan can invest, only through the government, in sectors/activities other than defence, space, atomic energy and sectors/activities prohibited for foreign investment.

On July 23, an order issued by the Department of Expenditure under the Ministry of Finance stated that any bidder from the countries sharing land border with India will be eligible to bid in any procurement of goods, services or works only if it is registered with the competent authority.

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