New Delhi: The government of India has changed the conditions for auction of coal blocks for commercial mining to keep the Chinese bidders out.

The Nominated Authority of union coal ministry, which is conducting the auctions, has added Press Note 3 of 2020 into the list of conditions making difficult for Chinese bidders to participate in the auction process.

Earlier, 100% FDI in the auction process was through automatic routes as provided in the Press Note 4, which amended the FDI policy of 2017. Now, the Press Note further amends the Policy and says that bidders from neighboring countries like China, Pakistan, Nepal, Babgladesh would not be eligible for automatic routes.

The Nominated Authorities have said, ” It is further clarified that any FDI in the commercial coal mining is subject to Applicable Laws including the Press Note 3 of 2020 issued by the Central Government”. According to Press Note 3 “an entity of a country, which shares land border with India or where the beneficial owner of an investment into India is situated in or is a citizen of any such country, can invest only under the Government route.”

The government of India has put 40 coal mines in the auction block for commercial mining. As many as 9 coal. mines in Odisha have been identified for auction sales.