The Inter-Ministerial Group (IMG) on Thursday recommended de-allocation of two more coal blocks and deduction of bank guarantee (BG) of two more blocks.

Thursday’s action concludes the IMG scrutiny of 29 blocks in the first phase.

The blocks deallocated on Thursday are: Bhaskarpara, allotted to Kumarmangalam Birla-promoted Grasim Industries and Mukesh Bhandari-owned Electrotherm, and Dahegaon Markardhokra IV block, given jointly to IST Steel & Power, Gujarat Ambuja Cement and Lafarge India.

IST Steel and Power has Gaurav Gupta, son of former Union Minister and Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Prem Chand Gupta, as one of its directors.

IST Steel and Power owns 53 per cent stake in the Dahegaon Markardhokra block, located in Chhattisgarh. The block, allocated in June 2009, has a total of 48.84 million tonnes (MT) of extractable reserves.

The Bhaskarpara block in Chhattisgarh, allotted on November 21, 2008 for a sponge iron project, has extractable reserves of 18.67 MT.

The two blocks find mention in the latest CAG report.

The IMG is likely to start scrutiny of 29 more blocks allocated to government and public sector undertakings, from October 9.

Apart from recommending de-allocation of 13 blocks, the panel has so far recommended deduction of bank guarantee in the case of 14 mines.

All the 58 mines were given show-cause notice for failure to develop blocks within the stipulated timeline.

The Zohra Chatterjee-led IMG was formed in July. It commenced review of blocks on September 6. The total number of mines that have been approved for de-allocation by the government as per the IMG recommendation is seven, while BG of seven have been deducted till now.

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