- Till June 2020, state PSUs of Telangana, Odisha and Rajasthan were allocated coal blocks directly
- Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL) was directly allotted the Naini coal block in Odisha Penagadappa coal block in Telangana and Patrapara Coal Block in Odisha without any competitive bidding
- After the change in process in June 2020, no direct allotment has happened to state PSUs as all need to participate in competitive bidding
- Decision made to ensure that India as one of the largest coal producers in the world, could also become the largest exporter
- It is KCR’s decision through which a Genco has contracted a private company called AMR to mine coal and supply it for 25 years
The irregularities towards the allocation of coal mines during the UPA regime resulted in a coal scam that is often referred to as “Coalgate”. The scam was flagged by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG). The CAG observed that the non-transparent manner of allocation of 194 coal blocks done between 2004 and 2009 led to a loss of 1 Lakh 85 thousand crore rupees to the exchequer.
On 25th August, 2014, the Supreme Court issued an order cancelling all the previously allotted coal mines. Consequently, the Narendra Modi government introduced the Coal Mining Act, 2015 for transparent management and allocation of coal mines keeping in view the energy security of the country. The aim was to further minimise any impact on core sectors such as steel, cement and power utilities, which are vital for the development of the nation.
It is through this act that in 2015, that 4 coal mines were allotted to the companies run by the Gujarat state government. Similarly, the Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL) run by the Telangana Government through the same Act was allotted the Naini coal block in Odisha on 13th August 2015. Subsequently on 15th December 2016, the Penagadappa coal block in Telangana was allotted and on 30th October 2019, the new Patrapara Coal Block in Odisha was allotted.
Apart from these, on 31st August 2015 Tadicherla – 1 Coal Block in Telangana was allotted to Telangana State Power Generation Company. Not just in the state of Telangana or Gujarat but across the country, coal mines were also allotted to Rajasthan and Odisha State Government organisations in the same manner. Subsequently, under the amnesty scheme brought by the Ministry of Coal in May, 2020 with a time limit of 3 months, the Singareni Collieries returned the Penagadappa & New Patrapara coal blocks allotted to Singareni. As part of the amnesty scheme, the Government of India has also waived off the delinquency fee due to such return. Moreover, even in the Naini coal mine allotted in 2015, no action has been taken by the Government of India even though the Singareni company has not taken up any coal mining. Moreover, the Government has been providing necessary assistance in obtaining all the necessary permits for coal mining.
On June 18, 2020, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi launched the commercial mining of coal. At that time he stated “The big question is if India is the one of the largest coal producers in the world, then why can’t we become the largest exporter ?“. As part of the commercial mining processes, it was decided to allocate all coal mines in the country through transparent auctions to increase coal production. State government-run entities, private organizations can also participate in this auction.
The farmhouse leaders of the BRS without any knowledge of the facts on the ground made all sorts of allegations stating that Gujarat was being favored with coal allotments being directly made to state run organisations whereas Telangana state corporations need to participate in auctions. The leaders should make it clear where the bias is found in this whole approach. As stated, after the change in process of 2020 all state run organisations also need to participate in auctions. No entity is being allotted mines directly.
The allocation of coal mines through transparent auctions increases the revenue of the government and increases coal production. The farmhouse leaders of the BRS are propagating blatant lies on the allocation of coal mines as they do not have the guts to face the BJP directly and the Kalvakuntla family is spending sleepless nights watching the growing strength of the BJP in Telangana. Moreover, they want to hide their own scam as it was KCR’s decision through which a Genco has been contracted by a private company called AMR to mine coal and supply it for 25 years.