New Delhi: The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) has asked the Coal Ministry to fast-track the process of taking back the coal blocks from private firms which have not developed them and giving the de-allocated coal mines to Coal India (CIL).
"Recently, the PMO has asked to expedite the process of coal blocks de-allocation and give the de-allocated blocks to Coal India," an official with the Coal Ministry privy to the development said.
Also, the PMO has said the CIL should appoint mine developer and operators (MDOs) to begin production from these de-allocated coal blocks without delay, the official said.
The Coal Ministry had recently allotted 116 mines to CIL for expansion to help it boost production capacity amid the PSU drawing flak for coal shortage across the country.
Though the CIL had asked for 138 mines, the Coal Ministry asked the coal major to recast its plans.
Since CIL is a government-owned company, the Coal Ministry under the government dispensation route has the right to allocate mines to the CIL, an official in the Ministry had said earlier.
Coming down heavily on the private companies delaying the development of coal blocks allocated to them for captive use, the government had recently issued show-cause notices to 58 coal block allottees which have delayed the production from the mines.
The notices were issued to firms such as Reliance Power's Sasan, Tata Power, Hindalco, Grasim Industries, JSW, Bhushan Steel, TVNL, Jharkhand State Mineral Development Corporation and Chhattisgarh Mineral Development Corporation, among others.
The notices sought reasons for delay in developing blocks and warned them of cancellation of mines if no explanation was given in 20 days.
In May last year, the government had cancelled allotment of 14 coal blocks and one lignite block of companies like NTPC, DVC and Andhra Pradesh Power Generation Corporation.