6 more coal blocks to be cancelled; 7 others to lose guarantee
New Delhi: Stepping up action, the government on Wednesday decided to cancel six more coal blocks allocated to private companies and deduct bank guarantees of seven others for failing to develop the mines within the time-frame.
"Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal today approved the IMG's recommendation to de-allocate six more mines and deduct bank guarantees of seven. Earlier, the government has already announced cancelling licences of seven mines and deducting bank guarantees of seven others," sources said.
Bhaskarpara allotted to Grasim Industries and Electrotherm; Dahegaon Markardhokra IV given to IST Steel & Power; North Dhadu allotted to Electrosteel Castings; Choritand Telaiyaallotted to Rungta Mines and Gondkhari block allotted to Maharashtra Seamless were among the blocks whose deallocation was approved on Wednesday, the sources said.
The seven blocks approved for deduction of bank guarantees include Seregarha block given jointly to the world's largest steel producer ArcelorMittal and GVK Powe; Moitra block allotted to Jayaswal Neco; Dumri block given to Neelachal Iron & Steel and Durgapur II/ Sariya block allotted to DB Power, the sources said.
With this, the government has accepted all the recommendations by an Inter-Ministerial Group (IMG), which had recommended de-allocation of 13 mines and deduction of bank guarantees of 14 allottees after scrutinising 31 coal blocks allotted to private companies.
Among the de-allocated blocks, Dahegaon-Makardhokra IV block was given to IST Steel and Power, along with cement firms Gujarat Ambuja and Lafarge India, in June 2009. The block has a total of 48.84 million tonnes (MT) of extractable reserves.
The IMG, which has concluded the scrutiny of 31 blocks allotted to private companies is likely to begin review of 31 more allotted to PSUs from October 9.
Earlier, a total of 58 mines were given show cause notices for failure to develop blocks within stipulated timeline.
The government had formed the IMG in July to review the progress of coal blocks allocated to companies for captive use. It commended the exercise of review of blocks on September 6.