IMG to meet on Sept 12 to finalise report on 29 coal blocks
New Delhi: With the deadline of September 15 in mind, the Inter-Ministerial Group (IMG) will decide on Wednesday the fate of 29 coal blocks allocated to private companies out of 58 and work out a plan of action with regard to the remaining, allotted to PSUs without auction.
The meeting of IMG on September 12 will finalise recommendations with regard to allotments made to firms whose representatives were given a chance to present their case during three days of hearing on September 6, 7 and 8.
"The next meeting of the IMG will be held on September 12 ...To deliberate and finalise its recommendations in respect of allocatees/companies which made presentations before it," an official statement said.
Meanwhile, sources in the Coal Ministry said the IMG in its forthcoming meeting may also decide the dates for assessing the performance of the blocks allotted to PSUs, without auction.
Around 30 coal blocks, of the 58 that have been issued showcause notices for delaying production, are with public sector firms, including MMTC, Chhattisgarh Mineral Development Corporation and Jharkhand State Mineral Development Corporation.
The deadline of September 15 was set by the Coal Ministry in the wake of uproar over irregularities in allocation of coal blocks after CAG estimated undue benefits to the tune of Rs 1.86 lakh crore to private firms on account of allocation of blocks to them without auction.
Last week, the panel undertook the review of the 29 blocks.
"Presentations were made by the allocatees of 29 coal blocks in reply to showcause notices issued to them (for failure to develop the blocks as per stipulated timeframe)," the statement said.
It added that the allocatees were asked to provide documents indicating the current status, duly certified by the authorised representative, besides the details of investment made vis-a-vis the plans for developing the blocks, certified by Chartered Accountant.
They were also required to submit investment details in respect of end-use plant, the statement said, adding, "The self certification as per CA certificate and physical progress reported by the companies was taken on record and the authorised representatives were given an opportunity to be heard by the IMG."
To facilitate further deliberations, the IMG said that coal controller/Ministry of Coal will provide a status paper for each case including history of previous reviews and action.
During the three-day IMG meeting, allottes of 29 blocks gave progress reports of their mines and several of them said delays in starting the production resulted due to lack of various clearances from different state governments.
Tata Steel, Reliance Power, JSW, Grasim Industries, Kesoram Industries, IST Steel & Power, SKS Ispat and Power, Bihar Sponge Iron, among others, had appeared before the panel.
Before the start of the review exercise, the Coal Ministry had said on September 3 that the latest progress as reported by the Coal Controller would also be taken into account by the IMG "before recommending on the action against the coal block allottees".