Jindal may lose Bengal coal block | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Jindal may lose Bengal coal block

delhi Updated: Sep 15, 2012 09:31 IST
Vivek Sinha

The inter ministerial group (IMG), after its review meeting on Friday, has recommended de-allocation of one more coal block even as it scanned the progress report of as many as seven coal blocks, government sources said.

The recommendation came in for the Gourangdih ABC block that was allocated to JSW (Jindal Steel Works) Group and Himachal EMTA Power Ltd.

“We are forwarding our recommendations to the coal ministry to de-allocate the Gourangdih ABC block,” a senior government official and member of the IMG said.

The recommendations will now be placed before coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal and the block would get de-allocated only after Jaiswal approves the cancellation.

On Thursday, Jaiswal had cancelled four coal blocks based on IMG’s recommendations. The minister had said more firms could have their blocks cancelled if found squatting over blocks allocated to them.

The Delhi-based JSW and Himachal EMTA Power got the Gournagdih ABC coal block in West Bengal in 2009.

Other blocks that came under IMG's scanner on Friday include those under Tata Steel and Reliance Power, among others.

The IMG is going through the mining plan submitted by captive coal block owners with a fine tooth comb. It is reading the plans along with reports of coal controller about mining progress in a block before recommending cancellation of a block.

"We are closely analysing the clarifications given by block owners for the delay in coal production (from their captive blocks) before recommending de-allocation of any block," the official added.

Interestingly, the minutes of screening committee at coal ministry that allocated blocks does not have a detailed record of the reasons as to why a company did not get a coal block.

The CBI had to seek answers from those companies that failed to bag a coal block, which in turn helped the probe agency in understanding the subtle details involved in the coal block allocation process.