"....and the second issue is on the coal blocks which have been cancelled (by the Supreme Court). They are being put to auction in the course of next three months, this is what the Power Ministry has informed (us). This is what they have informed, in three months these (coal blocks) will go to auction," Financial Services Secretary G S Sandhu told reporters here.

He was speaking to reporters after a meeting with bankers and private power companies to find ways to solve the issues concerning power producers due to fuel shortages.

In a ruling in late September, the Supreme Court had quashed allocation of 214 out of 218 coal blocks allocated to various companies since 1993, terming it as "fatally flawed".

Following cancellation of these coal blocks, the Apex Court had allowed the Centre to take over operation of 42 such blocks which are functional.
 
The court had said that the beneficiaries of the illegal process "must suffer" the consequences and refused to show sympathy to private companies which had submitted that Rs 2.87 lakh crores had been invested in 157 coal blocks and Rs 4 lakh crores in end-use plants.

Sandhu said a small group was constituted today under the chairmanship of IIFCL head Santosh Nayyar so as to suggest ways to sort out financing issues in the power projects which are held up on account of fuel supply constraints.

The committee will submit its report on November 7.

"We have discussed about gas based, coal based power projects and projects which are held up because of last mile financing...we have constituted a small group headed by the CMD, IIFCL, Santosh Nayyar to examine all these issues," he said.

As much as Rs 5 lakh crore investment is stuck in power projects on various reasons including raw material shortage.

During the meeting, power producers made a detailed presentation to highlight the issues concerning the sector.