The government is planning to set up an inter-ministerial panel to decide the future course of action on the coal block permits that were cancelled by the Supreme Court earlier this week.
Sources said the committee is likely to be headed by additional secretary, coal, and may have representatives from the ministries including power and steel. “The coal ministry is considering setting up an inter-ministerial committee to decide the future course of action pertaining to blocks which have been deallocated,” the official sources said.
No further details could be obtained till the time of going to the press.
In a major blow to the corporate sector, the Supreme Court on Wednesday cancelled allocation of 214 out of 218 coal blocks alloted to various companies since 1993 terming it as “fatally flawed”, and allowed the Centre to take over operation of 42 such blocks that are functional.
The apex court said the beneficiaries of the illegal process “must suffer” the consequences and refused to show sympathy to private companies, which submitted that Rs 2.87 lakh crore have been invested in 157 coal blocks and Rs 4 lakh crore in end-use plants.
A bench headed by Chief Justice RM Lodha said that the judgement was intended to correct the wrong done by the Centre over the years and to send a message to the government that natural resources do not belong to a few individuals to be frittered away.