Companies & Sectors
CIL gets NTPC’s de-allocated coal mines

The Prime Minister's Office recently asked the coal ministry to fast-track the process of taking back captive blocks from the companies which have not developed them within the stipulated time, and giving them to Coal India

New Delhi: The coal ministry has given three de-allocated mines, including two of NTPC, to Coal India (CIL) and asked it to appoint mine developers to begin the production from these blocks at the earliest, reports PTI.

The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) recently asked the coal ministry to fast-track the process of taking back captive blocks from the companies which have not developed them within the stipulated time, and giving them to Coal India (CIL).

Recently, show-cause notices were also issued to 58 allocates, including Reliance Power, Tata Power and JSW for delaying the production from the blocks.

The country is facing acute coal shortage, hitting hard the power sector and moves are afoot to ensure that the production is enhanced.

"The coal ministry has given three deallocated mines a couple of days ago to CIL. It has also asked the PSU to appoint mine developer, operator (MDO) to expedite the development of these blocks," a top official in the ministry told PTI.

The three mines given to CIL are NTPC's Brahmini and Chichro Patsimal coal blocks in Jharkhand and West Bengal Power Development Corporation's (WBPDCL) East of Damagoria (Kalyaneshwari) coal mine, the official said.

In May last year, the coal ministry had deallocated Brahmini and Chichro Patsimal coal blocks. Both the blocks were allocated in January 2006 to be jointly operated through a 50:50 joint venture between NTPC and CIL.

The coal ministry in the letter last year had stated that it is "of the view that the allocatee company (NTPC) is not serious about development of coal blocks and (the government) has therefore, decided to deallocate Brahmini and Chichro Patsimal coal blocks allocated to NTPC."

The Damogoria block was allocated to WBPDCL for its proposed expansion of power plants and setting up of a new 1,000MW thermal power plant in West Bengal.

WBPDCL had surrendered this mine to the coal ministry citing difficulty in developing it.

Coal India's shares were trading at Rs347.70 per share on the Bombay Stock Exchange at 3:10pm, while the Sensex was at 17,030.
 

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Economy & Nation Exclusive
Whistling in the dark? Mukta becomes Muktaa!

A numerologist has asked Subhash Ghai to insert an additional ‘a’ in the name of his company for “good luck” says a notification to the stock exchanges


Subhash Ghai, an ace filmmaker whose company went public with a bang because he could deliver a string of hits, found that lady luck deserted him soon after listing. There were no more hit movies from the man who seemed to have the Midas touch, who had delivered 12 hits out of the 13 movies he had produced until then. His investment bankers called him the Indian Steven Spielberg. Having raised money through an IPO (Initial Public Offering), he built Whistling Woods, an academy that promised to do everything that the government owned Film & Television Institute of India (FTII) at Pune could not. But Lady bad-luck struck again. A Supreme Court order asked Whistling Woods International, a subsidiary of Mukta Arts, to surrender the land allotted to it for setting up the institute as the land allotment was irregular. Chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, whose fondness and family ties to Bollywood are well-knows has also been indicted for facilitating this dubious transfer.  
 
As Whistling Woods gets ready to comply with the order, Subhas Ghai wants to change his luck. A numerologist has advised him to add  'a' to the company's name as well as its acronym. Hence Mukta Arts (MAL), the well known production house, has become Muktaa Arts Limited (MAAL). Interestingly, the notice to the bourses says, "the change in name is in pursuance to advice by the company's numerologist." Does this mean that Muktaa Arts actually has an official numerologist on board? It will be interesting to find out if the fee for this change is advice is also going to be paid out of corporate funds. 
 
It also raises another question. Is a numerologist enough to change the company's fortunes? Or will it also have vaastu experts, astrologers and other godmen and magic remedy providers on board? And if yes, will these "consultants" help improve the corporate practices of Muktaa Arts and its subsidiaries to keep them away from dubious, political deals or will it merely suggest spelling and cosmetic changes to ensure that it doesn't get caught in future? As far as corporate governance is concerned, it is not a very encouraging development and one that the government, bourses and shareholders need to watch closely. 
 
Under the Supreme Court order, Muktaa Arts' subsidiary Whistling Woods will have to surrender 20 acres of land allotted to it by 2014. A Hindustan Times article dated 29 May 2012 says that the Punjab and Haryana High Court also quashed orders for allocation of 20 acres of panchayat land in Bhadsha Village to Mukta Arts for building the WWIL campus. According to this report, it had acquired land for Rs24.09 lakh per acre when the actual cost was supposedly 41.5 lakh. 
 
Will Subhash Ghai and Mukta Arts who delivered hit films like Ram Lakhan, Saudagar, Karz, Kalicharan, Pardes, Taal, Khalnayak, Karma, Hero, Meri Jung, and Iqbal see his luck change? Ask his shareholders and they would probably say, add two AAs if necessary, but let the Midas touch return. 
 
Interestingly, the Whistling Woods International (WWI) website has posted a message to students about its future plans following the Supreme Court order. It says, Whistling Woods will "continue as an Institute, as a World class institute even if the campus has to be moved outside the Film City. Under the high court order we can continue to operate in the present Film City campus until July 2014. We want to assure you and all our stake holders, shareholders and students that our operations will not cease. We are examining other options and action will commence soon to ensure that there is a smooth transition to whatever maybe our new home".
 
The message goes on to say that great things in life are only achieved when you passionately pursue them against all odds. WWI is one such passion. "You are not finished when you lose. You are finished when you quit. And we are not quitting." We may have tripped, but we have the strength and will to get up and run again. That is what we will do. The shareholders will be keeping their fingers crossed.
 

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