New Delhi: A Parliamentary panel has accused the Coal Ministry of "sleeping over" the controversial issue of coal block deallocation and swinging into action only after the CAG report.
"The Committee observe that the Ministry (coal) deallocated some of the coal blocks only recently after the receipt of CAG Report in the matter. The ministry, however chose to sleep over this controversial issue rather than acting on their own.
"The Committee are of the firm opinion that this lackadaisical approach of the monitoring committee has led to delay in development of coal blocks and loss to the state exchequer," the Standing Committee on Coal and Steel said in its report tabled in Parliament yesterday.
The government had earlier accepted the recommendations of an inter-ministerial group (IMG) which suggested deallocation of 13 mines and deduction of bank guarantees (BG) of 14 blocks in this regard.
The IMG had last year reviewed 58 coal blocks which were issued notices for not developing them within stipulated time frame.
The Parliamentary panel also said in its report that even though the system of submission of BG was introduced in 2005, no BG was deducted from the defaulter allocatees.
"Though system of submission of bank guarantee by the private sector allocatees was introduced from 2005...No bank guarantee was deducted from the defaulter allocatees.
"It is only now, the IMG who has taken up the review of the 58 cases referred to it...Has recommended the deduction of bank guarantees," it said.
Under the system of bank guarantee submission, 50 percent of the BG is linked to the milestones (time schedule) set for development of captive block, and the remaining 50 percent to the guaranteed production.
"This clearly indicates that the monitoring committee has failed to take action against the defaulter companies since 2005," the committee said.
"Even the loss of royalty to the exchequer due to delay in achieving milestones (time schedule) set for development of captive block as well as the rated yearly production level as per the approved mine plan which was required to be deducted from bank guarantee was never recovered," it added.