Govt withdraws de-allocation of three coal mines to NTPC
New Delhi: The government on Wednesday said it has written to state-owned power major NTPC informing it that the de-allocation of the company's three coal blocks in Jharkhand has been withdrawn.
The Coal Ministry said it conveyed to NTPC that it has decided to "withdraw the de-allocation of Kerandari, Chatti Bariatu and Chatti Bariatu (South) coal blocks which were de-allocated".
NTPC confirmed the development: "Ministry of Coal has conveyed the decision to withdraw the de-allocation of Kerandari, Chatti Bariatu and Chatti Bariatu (South) coal blocks, de-allocated, by them, in June 2011."
In a letter dated January 23 to NTPC Chairman and Managing Director Arup Roy Choudhury, the Coal Ministry said withdrawal "is subject to NTPC developing the block as per the revised schedule of exploitation submitted by it.
"It may, however, be stated that all other conditions as mentioned in the allocation letters of the above coal blocks would remain unchanged".
The letter further said that the Coal Ministry in a letter in January last year had conveyed the 'in principle' decision of the withdrawal of de-allocation of the coal mines in Jharkhand.
The nation's leading power producer was also asked to submit schedule regarding exploitation of coal blocks. "It was decided that on the receipt of a reply from NTPC a formal letter withdrawing de-allocation would be issued."
The schedule of exploitation was submitted by NTPC to the Coal Ministry in February last year.
In the meantime, the ministry said in the letter, the commencement of Amendment to Mines and Mineral (Development & Regulation) Act, 1957 as well as Auction by Competitive Bidding of Coal Mines Rules, 2012 were notified in February last year.
"As the Rules above were notified before the formal withdrawal of de-allocation letter, a reference was made to Ministry of Law and Justice.
The Ministry of Law & Justice has advised that the proposed action is not in contravention of Act/Rules and further opined that upon the withdrawal of deallocation in priciple....Status quo ante as prior to June 14, 2011 with respect to the concerned coal blocks stood restored," the letter said.
The development is likely to improve NTPC's valuation in its forthcoming share sale, which is expected to garner close to Rs 13,000 crore.
The Centre is planning to sell its 9.5 percent sale in NTPC and bring it down to 75 percent, from 84.5 percent.
The government has proposed to raise Rs 30,000 crore by way of disinvestment in 2012-13. So far, it has been able to realise Rs 6,900 crore.
NTPC scrip closed at Rs 162.35, down 1.07 percent on the BSE.