The Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) on ultra mega power projects (UMPP) Saturday agreed not to review an earlier decision of allowing Reliance Power to use surplus coal from its Sasan plant's captive mines for another upcoming project.
Law Minister Salman Khurshid said the EGoM, led by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, came to this conclusion after consultation with Attorney General (AG) G.E. Vahanvati.
"We stand by that decision. We cannot review decisions of the past but we can certainly look at the implication of those decisions in changing circumstances and what we need to do in the future," Khurshid told reporters after the EGoM meeting.
The government had earlier given its nod to the Anil Dhirubhai Group company for using surplus coal from its Sasan captive mines in Madhya Pradesh for an upcoming project based in Chitrangi in the state.
The EGom, at its earlier meeting in December, had decided to seek legal opinion from the AG on the matter.
Khurshid said the EGoM accepted the Attorney General's interpretation of surplus coal.
"We were trying to understand that decision based on the Attorney General's opinion. The Attorney General had given us an opinion that surplus coal is such coal that is available after satisfying the needs of a UMPP.
"Now what to do with the surplus coal is the question and this is to be seen in the context that you have not to discourage a developer from producing coal," said Khurshid.
In 2007, Reliance Power had bagged the 3,960 MW Sasan UMPP which will have six units of 660 MW each with super-critical technology. The company was allotted three captive coal mines namely Moher, Moher-Almohri and Chhatrasal for the project.
These blocks have a peak potential to produce up to 25 million tonnes of coal per annum.
Besides Khurshid, others who attended the EGoM meeting were Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal.