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Coal ministry panel cancels award of 11 captive blocks

Three mines of JSPL,block given to Tata-led venture in list.

The coal ministry on Thursday decided to de-allocate 11 captive coal blocks including three mines of Jindal Steel and Power,besides forfeiting the bank guarantees of six firms and asking five to expressly furnish bank guarantees.

The ministry has been facing intense flak over alleged irregularities in allocation of coal blocks since 1993 and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is currently investigating the abnormalities and criminal conspiracy in their allotment.

The agency has filed 14 FIRs and two preliminary enquiries so far in this connection. In this backdrop,an inter-ministerial group (IMG) of the coal ministry met on October 24 to consider the fate of 30 coal blocks,including those being investigated by the CBI.

Of the mines recommended for de-allocation,two blocks — Amarkonda Murgadangal and Ramchandi Promotional (coal-to-liquid mine) belongs to Naveen Jindal-promoted JSPL and the Urtan North block also allocated to JSPL along with Monnet Ispat & Energy . All allottees had been issued show-cause notices and were asked to furnish their views to the IMG.

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The decisions have been taken after careful consideration,a top coal ministry official told The Indian Express. Coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal is learnt to have approved the recommendations of the IMG. Another coal-to-liquid block — North of Akrapal allocated to the Strategic Energy tech System Limited,which is a joint venture between the Tata group and South African firm Sasol has also been de-allocated.

The Radhikapur (West) block allocated jointly to Rungta Mines,OCL India and Ocean Ispat,Bikram mine allotted to Birla Corporation,Khappa and Extension block allocated to Sunflag Iron and Steel and Dalmia Cement have been cancelled. The ministry has decided to de-allocate the Rajgamar Dipside block allotted to Monnet Ispat and Energy and Topworth Steel and Kesla North mine allocated to Rathi Udyog Limited.

With the fresh round of de-allocation,the total number of blocks cancelled stands at 51 as the government had earlier de-allocated 40 blocks. The ministry is preparing to inform the companies impacted by the decision. As per the IMG’s recommendations steel maker SAIL is among the five companies to lose bank guarantees for delay in developing allotted blocks.

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Other firms include Abhijeet Infrastructure,Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corporation,Tenughat Vidyut Nigam and Chaman Metaliks.

DE-ALLOCATED BLOCKS

COMPANIES COAL BLOCKS STATE

Jindal Steel and Power Amarkonda Murgadangal Jharkhand

Jindal Steel and Power Ramchandi Promotional Block(CTL) Orissa

Jindal Steel and Power & Urtan North Madhya Pradesh

Monnet Ispat and Energy

Rungta Mines,OCL India Radhikapur (West) Orissa

and Ocean Ispat

Strategic Energy tech System North of Akrapal (CTL) Orissa

Ltd (A Tata-Sasol JV company)

Birla Corporation Bikram Madhya Pradesh

Sunflag Iron and Steel Khappa & Extension Maharashtra

& Dalmia Cement

Monnet Ispat and Energy Rajagamar Dipside Chhattisgarh

& Topworth Steel

Rathi Udyog Limited Kesla North Chhattisgarh

Castron Brahmdiha Jharkhand

Maharashtra State Mining Corp Warora Maharashtra

First published on: 22-11-2013 at 02:49:07 am
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