New Delhi: In a move that may attract more private investments and bring in greater transparency in the coal sector, the government is likely to auction mines through international competitive bidding route currently adopted for awarding ultra mega power projects. At present, the Ministry of Power awards ultra mega power projects (UMPPs) of 4,000 MW capacity each through international competitive bidding process. Power Finance Corporation is the nodal agency for these UMPPs. It is responsible for acquiring land in cooperation with the state government and receiving all the environment and forest clearances after which the tenders are invited from the bidders. A Power Ministry official said the government may adopt the same model for allocation of coal blocks in the future.
According to sources, Power Finance Corporation, Rural Electrification Corporation or Coal India may be the nodal agency for the coal block auctions.