Coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal on Wednesday put his stamp on all the recommendations made by the inter-ministerial group (IMG) on coal block de-allocations. This essentially means six more coal blocks have been de-allocated and a total of 13 coal blocks now stand cancelled.
The minister also approved encashment of bank guarantee in case of seven coal blocks, which means a total of 14 blocks will have their bank guarantee encashed.
The minister had, last week, de-allocated seven blocks on the recommendations of IMG.
“The coal minister has accepted all the recommendations by the IMG,” said a senior coal ministry official.
The six new coal blocks that have been de-allocated include North Dhadu allocated to Electrosteel Castings, Choritund Tailaya allocated to Rungta Mines and Sunflag Iron & Steel, Gondkhari block allocated jointly to Maharashtra Seamless, Dhariwal Infrastructure and Kesoram Industries, the Dahegaon Makardhokra block that was jointly owned by IST Steel Power, Gujarat Ambuja Cements and Lafarge India and the Bhaskarpara coal block.
The IMG had been mandated to review the progress of 58 coal blocks. By September 20, the panel had submitted its review progress of 31 captive coal blocks. It is scheduled to meet again on October 8 to review the progress of remaining blocks that are with the public sector companies.
Don’t rush to court: HC to cos
The Delhi high court has asked companies not to rush to court challenging de-allocation of coal blocks merely on the basis of the inter-ministerial group’s recommendations. The court has asked the firms to wait for the coal ministry's final decision.
The directive came in a petition filed by Bhushan Steel challenging the panel’s recommendation to de-allocate its block in Patrapara in Odisha. Justice Rajiv Shakdher refused to admit the plea noting it was “premature” and based on a recommendation and press reports. - HTC