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A timeline of India’s troubled coal sector

The Supreme Court ruled on August 25 that all coal block allocations made by the government between 1993 and 2009 were illegal. Here is a look at the key events in the sector ahead of the SC ruling on Wednesday.

business Updated: Sep 24, 2014 13:18 IST
HT Correspondent

The Supreme Court ruled on August 25 that all coal block allocations made by the government between 1993 and 2009 were illegal. Here is a look at the key events in the sector ahead of the SC ruling on Wednesday.

1972-76
Coal India Limited (CIL) set up as a state-owned company
Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Amendment Act, 1976 enacted
Mining leases to all private firms, except iron steel producers, terminated
Iron and steel producers allowed to carry on coal mining for captive use

1992
Coal ministry sets up Screening Committee to consider coal mining applications from private companies

1993
Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Act, 1976 amended to allow power, in addition to iron and steel, companies to carry out captive coal mining
Screening committee guidelines give preference to large projects of power and steel companies
Blocks allocated on a first-come-first-served basis

1996
Cement sector allowed carry out captive coal mining

2005
Expert committee under TL Sankar, chairman, Energy Group Administrative Staff College, submits coal sector reform roadmap to Prime Minister

2006
Government allows 100% foreign direct investment (FDI) in captive coal mining in power, iron and steel, and cement sectors

August 2012
Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report tabled in Parliament estimating that by not auctioning coal blocks, the government may have handed out a windfall of about Rs 1.86 lakh crore to private power companies
BJP steps up pressure on the government demanding the PM’s resignation
PM Manmohan Singh states CAG’s observations are clearly disputable.

September 2012
As an inter-ministerial group (IMG) begins review of coal blocks hit by delays
CBI carries out raids across 10 cities and books five firms
SC begins monitoring the CBI probe into the coal field allocations

March 2013
SC asks CBI director Ranjit Sinha not to share details of its investigation with the government.

April 2013
Parliamentary standing committee says allocations between 1993 and 2008 done arbitrarily

CBI director Ranjit Sinha admits that the investigation report was shared with the then law minister Ashwani Kumar

May 2013
Ashwani Kumar resigns

April 2014
Former Coal Secretary PC Parakh says in his book that the authority of PM Manmohan Singh was undermined by former coal ministers Sibu Soren and Dasari Narayan Rao

July 2014
SC sets up a special CBI court to try all coal field allocation cases.

August 2014
SC says all coal blocks since have been allocated illegally and arbitrarily since 1993