Bhubaneswar, Sep 22: Steel and Mines Minister Prafulla Kumar Mallik has urged the Centre to suspend coal block auction process for the time being.
In a letter to Union Coal, Mines and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi, the Odisha Minister requested him to defer the coal block auction process for three months citing lower price of coal in market this year in view of Covid-19 pandemic.
Odisha has as many as nine coal blocks among 42 identified by the Centre for e-auction. The due date for submitting a technical bid is September 29 while e-auction would be conducted between October 19 and November 9.
“The price of coal has decreased significantly and if the e-auction is conducted at this time, the state will suffer in terms of coal royalty,” read the letter.