The Coal Ministry is planning to form a panel which will identify coal blocks from the list of existing mines for allocation through auction and government dispensation route.
"A technical committee under the Chairmanship of Adviser (Projects) Ministry of Coal is proposed to be constituted for identifying new coal/lignite blocks for offer with the approval of competent authority," the Coal Ministry said.
The seven-member panel would consist members from Coal India and Central Mine Planning & Design Institute among others, the ministry said.
The Coal Ministry had last month said it it has decided to offer 17 coal blocks--14 coal blocks for end use i.e. For power and 3 coal blocks for mining-- to different state-run companies.
Besides, the panel would also identify additional coal blocks for offer from the area explored in the last four years, examine the statues of the development of Coal-bed Methane (CBM) blocks and allotment of blocks from such areas, where potential for CBM is not significant.
The proposed technical committee would also, "examine the status of preparedness of CIL [Coal India] for development of already alloted blocks to them and find out scope of re-allocation of blocks of CIL, keeping in view their production commitments till the end XII Plan 2021-22", the ministry said.
Last month, the government kick-started the process of allotting coal mines and invited proposals from PSUs for allotting blocks to them.
The developments come in the wake of the government's repeated announcements to make policy for mines allotment transparent, following CAG terming potential losses of Rs 1.86 lakh crore to the exchequer due to allotment of blocks to 57 private firms without auction.
The blocks on offer are: Jilga-Barpali, Baisi, Banai, Bhalmunda, Kente and Kerwa in Chhattisgarh, Gowa, Pachwara South and Kalyanpur-Badalpara in Jharkhand, Mahajanwadi in Maharashtra, Kundanali-Laburi, Sarapal-Nuapara, Tentuloi, Chandrabila and Brahamani in Odisha, Gandbahera-Uhhenia block in Madhya Pradesh and Deocha-Pachami-Dewanganj-Harinsingha in West Bengal.
The Coal Ministry had in May last year identified 54 mines for allocation. Of these, 16 had been earmarked for government firms, 16 for power sector and 22 for allocation through auction route.