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IST Steel and Power says it is on track to start coal production

IST Steel and Power,in which former Corporate Affairs Minister Prem Chand Gupta's son Gaurav Gupta is a Director,today said it fails to understand why a show- cause notice has been issued to it for delay in developing the Chhattisgarh coal block that is progressing on schedule.

Written by Agencies | New Delhi | Published: September 8, 2012 6:28:27 pm

IST Steel and Power,in which former Corporate Affairs Minister Prem Chand Gupta’s son Gaurav Gupta is a Director,today said it fails to understand why a show- cause notice has been issued to it for delay in developing the Chhattisgarh coal block that is progressing on schedule.

“We don’t know why a show-cause notice was given to us when the block is ready to start production from August,2014. Our end-use plant (sponge iron) has also started production,” IST Steel & Power’s Director S C Jain told reporters after making a presentation before the Inter-Ministerial Group(IMG).

The IMG,headed by Zohra Chatterji,Additional Secretary,Coal,is reviewing the progress in 27 coal blocks which were allocated to private companies between 2005 and 2009. It may recommend de-allocation of these blocks which have not made satisfactory progress.

Dahegaon-Makardhokra IV block was given to IST Steel and Power,along with cement firms Gujarat Ambuja and Lafarge India,in June 2009. The block has a total of 48.84 million tonnes of extractable reserves. IST Steel and Power owns the majority 53 per cent stake in the block.

When asked whether the company was given a favour in the block allocation,Jain said,”If somebody’s father is a Minister,it is not his fault.”

Jain said the mining plan for the block has also been approved and it is likely to get the forest clearance soon. Stating that the block would start production “in time”,he said the company hopes the IMG would not recommend de-allocation of the block.

SKS Ispat and Power,in which Tourism Minister Subodh Kant Sahai’s brother held the position of “honorary director”,also presented its case before the IMG. The company officials did not talk to the media.

Seven other coal block allottees,including Tata Iron and Steel Company,JSW,Grasim Industries,Kesoram Industries and Bihar Sponge Iron,appeared before the panel.

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