Coal blocks' fate at stake, ministerial panel to review

  • Anupama Airy, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • |
  • Updated: Sep 03, 2012 16:40 IST

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has asked the coal ministry to take up de-allocation of another 32 coal blocks for which notices have been issued over “unsatisfactory progress”.

These blocks are in addition to the 58 for which show-cause notices were issued to the developers and the PMO asked the ministry to speed up the de-allocation process.

In its meeting on Monday, the inter-ministerial group (IMG), comprising representatives of coal, power, steel and finance ministries, is expected to draw a time-bound action plan for de-allocating the 58 blocks.

Sources said the IMG will, in subsequent meetings, take up the action plan for the 32 additional blocks.

“As the allottees of these 32 blocks have not shown any improvement despite the cautionary notices, the coal ministry has been advised to take action on de-allocation of these blocks as well,” said a senior ministry official.

The developers of the 32 blocks include well-known names in the public and private sector.

Coal ministry sources said that the government is under pressure because of the shortage of coal and feels no time can be lost in the development of these blocks to meet the domestic coal demand and supply gap.


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