The government claims the coal block auctions were meant to ensure two things: One, get the fair value of coal and, two, to do so with transparency. Coal Minister Piyush Goyal has often talked of the two. But the lack of transparency has made it impossible to judge if the government achieved the first – a fair value for the exchequer from the coal blocks auctioned.
The government has decided not to reveal the price bids that were made by different competing companies before the winner got the coal block. It has only revealed the winning bids. Rather than being transparent, the process has got mired in controversy with the government cancelling some of the auction and companies taking it to court.