Coal ministry asks Steel for 15 ‘ready’ files on allotment of blocks

Coal Minister Jaiswal had told Parliament these files were ready to be given to CBI.

Written by Priyadarshi Siddhanta | New Delhi | Published: August 29, 2013 3:33 am

Days after Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal told Parliament that 15 files about the controversial allotment of coal blocks were ready to be handed over to the CBI,the coal ministry has sent an SOS to the steel ministry to produce them.

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While the CBI sent the list of 15 steel firms to the coal ministry on August 14,the latter within a day asked the steel ministry to provide the documents instead. Jaiswal subsequently told Parliament on August 23 that these files were ready to be handed over to the agency. However,his ministry has sent a reminder to the steel ministry for the files on August 26.

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These files relate to the cases of Tata Sponge,JSW,Bhushan Power and Steel along with their applications for coal blocks. In a statement in Parliament Friday,Jaiswal had said “these are available for handing over and CBI has been requested to collect the same”.

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The coal ministry has asked the steel ministry to look for them so that they can be handed over to the CBI soon. The coal ministry is not hopeful about finding these files in any of its offices but fears being rapped by the Supreme Court,which is monitoring the investigation.

The information sought by the CBI includes Tata Sponge Iron’s application for the Radhikapur

East block in Orissa which was allotted to the company along with Scaw Industries and SPS Sponge Iron on February 2,2006. The agency has also asked the ministry to furnish details of the other two allottees of the block which has an estimated reserve of about 115 million tonne.

Also,even though Adani Power got the Lohara West Extension block in Maharashtra in 2007,the CBI has asked for the details of Tata Power’s unsuccessful application for the block. A search committee set up by the ministry to trace the missing documents is yet to make much headway in locating them. Jaiswal is learnt to have told the panel’s chief A K Dubey to fetch the files within a month or fix responsibility on those failing to find them.

The file of JSW Steel for the Rohne coal block in Jharkhand,which was allotted to it along with Bhushan Power and Steel and Jai Balaji Industries in 2008,also figures in the list. The agency also wants the applications and annexures of Pushp Steel and Mining for the Jitpur and Tubed coal blocks in Jharkhand. The Jitpur block was allotted to Jindal Steel and Power and Tubed block to Hindalco Industries and Tata Power on August 1,2007. Although the CBI does not have all the papers,it has filed an FIR against Pushp Steel.

Among other steel firms whose applications have been sought by the CBI are Jharkhand Ispat for Gundal Para or Pakri Barwadih West blocks,Chhattisgarh Captive Coal Mining for Madanpur block in Chhattisgarh,Visa Steel for Patrapara block in Orissa,Jayaswal Neco for Gare Palma IV/8 mine and Vandana Energy and Steel for the Madanpur North block,both in Chhattisgarh.

The agency also wants the Kamal Sponge Steel and Power’s feedback-form and also the presentation made by the firm before the 36th screening committee meeting held on December 7,2008.

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