Hyderabad: Union Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi on Sunday continued the Centre’s attempts to develop a different narrative over fears of privatization of the Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL) and even on the attempts by the Centre to auction off coal blocks despite the State’s resistance. Starting off a Twitter thread alleging that the Telangana government […]
Hyderabad: Union Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi on Sunday continued the Centre’s attempts to develop a different narrative over fears of privatization of the Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL) and even on the attempts by the Centre to auction off coal blocks despite the State’s resistance.
Starting off a Twitter thread alleging that the Telangana government was trying to mislead people and that auction of coal mines had nothing to do with privatization, Joshi said no operational coal mines were being auctioned. A few mines that were surrendered by the party may be auctioned, he said, also claiming that auction of mines was a major source of revenue generation for the State.
It was also open to both private companies and public sector undertakings with no restrictions, he says.
However, while stating that PSUs could participate in the auctions, the union Minister does not state how public sector units could compete against private players. Remember, the auction for the Chandragupt open cast mining project in Jharkhand, which eventually went to a consortium including Komatireddy Rajgopal Reddy’s Sushee Infra and Mining Limted, had seen giant bidders like Adani Enterprises and Montecarlo too. The Centre, SCCL unions here point out, was pitting the SCCL against such major private players knowing that the latter would eventually win.
Joshi also says the reluctance of the State Government to auction even a single block did not seem logical for the development of the State.
However, he does not mention the reasons that Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao had raised before Prime Minister Narendra Modi in December last year. Rao had said SCCL was playing a key role in meeting the coal requirements of thermal power stations in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, by producing 65 million tonnes of coal per annum. There was the need for uninterrupted supply of coal to various thermal power plants in Telangana in the wake of increased power consumption in the State. As such, he had requested to withdraw the Kalyan Khani Block-6 Underground, Koyagudem Open Cast-3, JBROC-3 or Sathupalli Open Cast-3 and Shravanapalli Open Cast from the auction to be conducted by the Coal Ministry.
Auctioning these, Chandrashekhar Rao said, would have an adverse impact on the coal demand in the Singareni area, which also proves that Joshi’s statement of Centre auctioning only non-operational coal mines was wrong.
Joshi also tweets about the SCCL being allocated three coal mines Naini, Penagaddppa and New Patrapara seven years ago. He does not talk about the Centre’s refusal to allocate to SCCL the four blocks that that were put up for auction in 2021, which is on record in the Lok Sabha’s questions (Joshi’s reply to Unstarred Question No.209).
BJP state unit chief Bandi Sanjay also tweeted on Sunday, alleging that the State government was misleading people on the auctioning of coal blocks of Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL).