7 Nov 2012

Inter-Ministerial panel on coal blocks recommends de-allocation of eight blocks

New Delhi:(Page3 News Network)/Newsonair)-Stepping up action against erring PSUs which failed to develop coal mines, the Inter-Ministerial panel on coal blocks has recommended de-allocation of eight such blocks after scrutiny of 19 cases.
It has also asked for imposition of bank guarantee in six cases and deduction in two cases.The panel's earlier recommendation for de-allocation of 13 mines to private firms has already been accepted by the government,A coal ministry official said in New Delhi today,among the blocks recommended for de-allocation are Mandakini, Utkal- D and Touli-Paharpur.
The remaining 14 cases would be examined by the IMG post-Diwali.Utkal-D coal block in Odisha was allotted to Orissa Mininig Corporation in December 2003 while Mandakini block was given to Assam Mineral Development Corporation.
Another block which has been de-allocated is Shankarpur/Bhatgaon II & Extension block in Chhattisgarh alloted to Chhattisgarh Mineral Development Corporation in 2007. The block in Bisrampur Coalfields has a geological reserve of 80 million tonnes.
The panel has already concluded the scrutiny of 31 coal blocks allotted to 51 private firms and last month the government had accepted its recommendations for de-allocation of 13 mines and deduction of bank guarantees of 14 allottees.A total of 58 mines were issued show-cause notices for their failure to develop blocks within stipulated timeline.
The government had formed the IMG in July to review progress of coal blocks allocated to firms for captive use.
The CAG had estimated that undue benefits to the tune of 1.86 lakh crore rupees might accrue to private firms on account of allocation of 57 mines to them without auction.

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