The Inter-Ministerial Group, looking into the coal block allocation issue, will meet next week to take decision on the fate of 61 mines for which show-cause notices — asking why cancellation of their blocks should not be done — were issued by the Coal Ministry earlier this month.
Among the big wigs issued warning notices included Tata Steel, Hindalco and Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL), Adani Power and AccelorMittal. The IMG will meet under the Additional Secretary (Coal) on February 7 and 8, to consider the replies filed by the concerned companies. The firms were asked to file replies to the show-cause by February 5, failing which their coal blocks would be de-allocated.
Among others issued notices include Hindalco, JSW Steel, Essar Power, Tata Power, GVK Power and Infrastructure, Ultratech Cement, Reliance Energy, Sterlite Energy, JP Associates, Hindustan Zinc Limited and Rungta Mines.
Coal blocks that were unexplored or partially explored at the time of allocation and which do not have the prospecting licence (PL), as also blocks for which the PL has been issued but geological reports have not been prepared, will also be cancelled, the notice had stated.
Blocks already under CBI scrutiny — such as Essar Power and Hindalco’s Mahan coal block, Brinda, Sasai and Meral blocks of Abhijeet Infrastructure, AMR Iron and Steel’s Bander block — figure in the list along with the Fatehpur block, allocated to SKS Ispat & Power Ltd., the company allegedly linked to the former Union Minister Subodh Kant Sahay. Allottees who have secured EC and FC Stage-I and have applied for FC stage-II (final clearance) have time till February 12, to submit their response along with documentary evidence to back their claims.
In the two-day meeting, IMG will consider replies of 29 coal blocks of companies like Tata Steel, JSW Steel and Bhushan Power and Steel on February 7. On February 8, the replies of the remaining 32 coal blocks allotted to firms like Monnet Ispat and Energy and Jindal Steel and Power Ltd. (JSPL) will be considered.