However the Centre has expressed concern over lack of response from many mineral-rich states.
New Delhi: More than 18 months after eauction of mining leases started in the country, states like Karnataka, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Gujarat have emerged as among the most active in terms of bidding. However the Centre has expressed concern over lack of response from many mineral-rich states.
States like Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh have been identified by the Centre as the states which need to improve their performance as their blocks received tepid responses to the bidding. Also, Tamil Nadu and Telangana, between February 2016 and July 2017, could not invite a single bid.
According to the exclusive data available with this newspaper, since February 2016 and till July 2017, 64 mining blocks have been identified, out of which e-auction have been conducted in 38 blocks.
Since the states have to conduct the auction and premium earned through the process also goes to them, Karnataka leads the pack with having earned a premium of Rs 29,000 crore by auctioning seven mining blocks during the aforementioned period. It is closely followed by Odisha, which auctioned five blocks during the past 18 months and earned a premium of almost Rs 25,000 crore. It is followed by Chhattisgarh which auctioned four blocks and earned Rs 14,770 crore in premium and Rajasthan which had put up three blocks for bidding and earned Rs 13,200 crore in premium. Gujarat pocketed almost Rs 9,500 crore by putting up on auction three blocks.
In a stark contrast, mineral-rich states, like Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh, managed to earn literally peanuts in terms of premium.
Jharkhand had put up three blocks for auction, but managed to earn only Rs 187 crore in premium, while Andhra Pradesh could put up only one block for auction and earned Rs 106 crore as premium.
Madhya Pradesh could get a paltry Rs 24 crore by putting on auction one block. While Tamil Nadu and Telangana did not put up any blocks for bidding and thus were not even in the reckoning. Highly-placed sources said that though the Centre does not have much role in auction of mining blocks, it does indulge in hand holding of states for conducting the auctions.
The auction process of mines has witnessed several false starts since it began early in 2016, and, therefore, the PMO is learnt to have expressed a lot of concern over it.