HYDERABAD: Dismissing talk that the Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL) would be privatised, Union Coal Minister Pra-lhad Joshi on Wednesday said that only four coal blocks would be auctioned and SCCL can also participate in the process.
Replying to a question raised by TRS MPs Venkatesh Netha Borlakunta and G Ranjith Reddy in the Lok Sabha, the Union Minister said that four coal blocks - Kalyan Khani Block-6, Koyagudem Block-III, Sathupalli Block-III and Shravanapalli located in Telangana were offered for allocation by way of auction under the provisions of Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957.
“Thereafter, the TS government requested to cancel the auction of these four coal blocks and to allocate them to SCCL. However, as per the extant policy followed by the Ministry of Coal, all the coal blocks are now being offered for allocation by way of auction for sale of coal. Further, the State government entities including SCCL may participate in the auction and take the block(s) as per prescribed norms,” he said.
However, speaking to reporters later, TRS MP Nama Nageswara Rao maintained that the Centre was privatising the SCCL. He demanded that the auction of coal blocks be sto-pped forthwith. He wondered how SCCL could survive without allocating the coal blocks. Not only SCCL, but several public sector undertakings were being privatised by the Centre, Nageswara Rao alleged.
Stop privatisation: Uttam
Earlier, raising the matter in the Lok Sabha as a ‘matter of urgent public importance’ , Congress MP N Uttam Kumar Reddy demanded that the Centre stop the privatisation of four coal blocks in Telangana and allot them to SCCL.
“In a very irrational and bizarre decision, the Centre announced the auction of the coal blocks. The SCCL now supplies coal to thermal power stations of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Instead of allocating these coal blocks to the SCCL, the Coal Ministry is putting them up for auction which is an irrational and objectionable decision,” Uttam said.