Ranchi, June 8 (IANS) Union Coal Minister Shriprakash Jaiswal Friday said new coal blocks had been identified and their auctioning would begin in the next two months.
"The coal block auctioning will begin in two months. The coal blocks have been identified. The identified coal blocks have been categorised for PSUs (public sector undertakings), private sector and others," he told reporters here.
He denied that there was any scam in allocation of coal blocks.
"There is no scam in allocation of the coal blocks. The coal blocks were allocated since 1993 considering the need of the country for thermal power sectors.
"The CIL (Coal India Limited) could not meet the requirements of the thermal power plants and this is the reason coal blocks were allocated," Jaiswal said.
He said: "A total of 220 coal blocks were allocated since 1993. The allocation of 27 coal blocks was cancelled. Of the rest 193 coal blocks, 100 were allocated to private sectors and 93 to PSUs. Only 29 of the 193 allocated coal blocks are operating."
The coal minister said 35 coal blocks were also allocated during the tenure of the National Democratic Alliance government.
He also denied the role of the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) in allocation of the coal blocks.
To a query, he said coal mafia were outsourcing coal and it was the duty of the state governments to curb illegal mining.