NEW DELHI: The government today said all the operating mines auctioned last year that are yet to start production will do so in the next few months.
The statement assumes significance as Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earlier asked the coal ministry to focus strongly on bringing auctioned and alloted blocks to the production level.
The direction came against the backdrop of the government targeting a two-fold jump in coal output to 1.5 billion tonnes by 2020.
"We could see all those mines, which were operating (before getting cancelled), come into production in the next few months," Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal has told PTI.
There are "some issues" on mining leases of the coal mines which were auctioned last year.
"The coal secretary is monitoring it personally," the minister said.
At present, 10 mines auctioned last year are in production.
Coal Secretary Anil Swarup in January had said as many as 15 more coal mines that were auctioned last year would begin production by March 31.
The government last year auctioned 31 coal mines in three tranches and made an allotment of over 40 coal blocks to central or state companies.
However, the government had to annul the process for the fourth round of coal block auction scheduled in January due to poor response from bidders in sectors like steel as well as depressed commodity prices and adverse market conditions.
Modi had earlier laid stress on tracking transfer of land, mining leases and clearances in co-ordination with state governments, according to sources privy to the development.