After months of deliberation, the government on Thursday decided to cancel the allotment of 14 coal blocks, five of them belonging to state-run National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), for slow or non implementation of mining projects.
Last year, the coal ministry had issued show cause notices to 84 coal block allocatees and Thursday’s decision was taken based on the response from them. Of the 14, 12 blocks belong to the government owned firms while two are with private firms. No action has been taken against coal blocks that fall under the no-go area as stiupulated by the government.
“The review committee has also recommended deduction of bank guarantee in case of 15 allocattees (private companies) for failing to achieve commencement of production as per the letter of allotment,” the ministry said in a statement. “The committee has also recommended issue of warning to 29 coal block allocattees and three lignite block allocattees for bringing their blocks into production at the earliest.”
Reacting to the cancellations NTPC said its primary role was not mining but to produce power and the government should now arrange coal for power generation.