Amid controversies shrouding coal blocks allocation, the government today said it has finalised three models – auction, tariff-based competitive bidding and government dispensation route –for grant of mines to various categories of firms.

“There shall be three categories/models for allocation,” the coal ministry has said in a letter to chief secretaries of all states. The ministry had earlier notified the Auction by Competitive Bidding of Coal Mines Rules, 2012 and the MMDR Act, 2010.

Grant of mines to companies for specified end-uses other than power “shall be done by auction through competitive bidding process…Government companies can also participate in the process, though allotment to government companies for end-use can also be made under Government dispensation route”, the letter said,

On allocation of blocks for power generation through competitive bidding, it said, “The identified blocks earmarked for allocation to the power sector would be earmarked to ministry of power/state government for carrying out the tariff based bidding.”

Besides, the allotment would be done to mining/mineral development companies in states for commercial mining on fuel supply agreement/coal linkage basis.

The ministry is against “allocation of coal block outside the rules framed for the purpose of allocation of coal blocks,” and has already identified 54 blocks for grant through competitive bidding and government dispensation route.

Meanwhile, the government has come under criticism from various corners amid charges of irregularities in block allocation between 1993 and 2009. The central vigilance commission has referred the case now to the CBI for probing alleged irregularities in coal block utilisation.

A media report quoted a comptroller and auditor general report that stated undue benefits of over Rs. 1.8 lakh crore were accrued to private companies in coal block allocations.

The government, however, has said it has not received any such CAG report.