‘Coal auction to start from EJH’

SHILLONG, Feb 23: Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong on Tuesday said that the auctioning of coal will start soon from East Jaintia Hills followed by other districts.
“Whatever guidelines and regulations sought by the NGT (National Green Tribunal), everything is in place. The issue now is only the price and we will go ahead once we get the communication,” he said.
Tynsong also said the government has already created a centralised coal depot where loading and unloading will take place according to the direction of the NGT.
“We will start with East Jaintia Hills, go to West Jaintia Hills, South West Khasi Hills and then the Garo Hills,” he said.
Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma had earlier asserted that the auctioning of the extracted coal would start once the NGT approves the minimum base price. He said that a decision to revise the minimum base price was taken at a meeting with the NGT.
The chief minister had also said that the price approved by Coal India Limited earlier was too low and would have resulted in losses for coal miners and owners.
Of the total coal to be auctioned, 75,000 MT is in East Jaintia Hills, 50,000 MT in South Khasi Hills, 25,000 MT in South West Khasi Hills and 50,000 MT in South Garo Hills district.
Based on the Supreme Court’s July 3 ruling, an NGT committee had on a pilot basis approved the auction of 2 lakh MT of the 32 lakh MT of coal in the state.
The government expects to generate a royalty cess and GST worth Rs 21 crore through the auction.

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