New Delhi : Amid acute shortage of coal for power sector, Coal India has accepted the government’s request for drastically reducing its e-auctions to almost half. “Accepting government’s request, Coal India has decided to drastically reduce the coal sold through e-auctions to various players in the country,” Coal Minister Piyush Goyal said.

A total of 58 million tonnes (MT) of coal was sold by Coal India Limited (CIL) through e-auctions in 2013-14 and the government had asked it to cut its sale to 25 MT this financial year to make more coal available for the fuel- starved power sector. Sources said CIL, the single largest coal producer in the world, has already sold 14 million tonnes of coal during the first three months of the current fiscal and thus will reduce its sale through e-auctions gradually.

There were reports of differences between Coal Ministry and CIL over the former’s “request” of a cut in e-auction sales by the state-owned miner and the matter had also reached the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) which had asked for assessing its losses due to the e-auctions cut.

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