Finding the progress of development a dozen-odd blocks not up to the mark, the Inter-Ministerial Group (IMG) has recommended de-allocation of 11 captive coal mines including those of Jindal Ispat and Power Limited (JSPL) and Monnet Ispat and Energy and imposition or deduction of bank guarantee in case of 19 blocks.
The IMG, headed by the Additional Secretary (Coal), has been reviewing the progress of coal blocks and taking action against all those who have been sitting idle on the national assets without any concrete progress.
Sources in the Coal Ministry said the IMG has sent a note to the Ministry recommending de-allocation of 11 coal blocks of companies including JSPL, Monnet Ispat and Energy Ltd and either imposition or deduction of bank guarantee in another 19 cases. A large of allottees of these blocks were issued show cause notices by the IMG to show why they had failed to take the required action to develop these blocks and why action should not be taken against them.
Following this, the Coal Ministry had asked the owners of these blocks to make a presentation before the IMG on achievement of milestones and reasons for delays. Those who were asked to make a presentation before the IMG included state-owned Steel Authority of India (SAIL), NTPC Ltd, JSPL, Abhijeet Infrastructure, Birla Corp and Rathi Udyog, Tata Power and Monnet Ispat and Energy Ltd.
JSPL was specifically asked to make a presentation with regard to delay in production from its four coal blocks - Amarkunda Murgadangal in Jharkhand, Utkal B1 and Ramchandi in Odisha and Urtan North in Madhya Pradesh.
Similarly, SAIL was asked to make presentation for Sitanala mine in Jharkhand and NTPC for Parki Barwadih mine in Jharkhand and Talaipalli mine in Chhattisgarh.
During the presentation, a number of companies pointed to the continued unending delays in land acquisition, getting environmental clearances and regulatory hurdles for delays in development of the mines.
The government had formed the IMG last year to review the progress of coal blocks allocated to firms for captive use and recommend action, including de-allocation. The panel has members from other Ministries including Steel and Power.
The Supreme Court is monitoring the Coalgate scam probe into coal block allocations since 1993 being conducted by CBI following three public interest litigation petitions alleging that rules were flouted in giving away the natural resources and favouring certain companies at a huge loss of crores to the national exchequer.