Govt sets to auction 34 mine blocks

    Govt sets to auction 34 mine blocks
    In order to inject a major booster to the mining sector, the government is all set to auction 34 mineral blocks in the current fiscal after having eased the auctioning norms and has targeted about Rs.75,000 crore in revenues, mines secretary Arun Kumar has said, elaborating that in addition to this, over 70 mineral blocks are likely to be auctioned in the next fiscal to garner about Rs.1,25,000 crore. It has carried out rounds of discussions and brought out the amendments in auction rules which will go a long way in smoothen the entire auction process. The changes in the auction rules will result in reduction in failures and quicker disposal of the mineral assets. In the amended rules the states have the flexibility of allocating the block in the second round itself even if there are less than three bidders. Net worth requirement for bidders have also been relaxed as now a company with net worth of Rs.50 lakh can bid for a mineral block with average annual production of up to Rs.2 crore as against Rs.4 crore earlier. For an average annual production up to Rs.20 crore, the net worth required has been brought down to Rs.10 crore, from Rs.40 crore earlier. So far 33 mineral blocks have been bid out and the revenue to the states over the lease period from the auctioned mines is estimated at Rs.1,28,000 crore. In this fiscal, so far 12 mineral blocks have been auctioned, which brought revenues worth Rs.48,000 crore over a lease period of 50 years, he added.
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