The IMG decided to recommend deduction of bank guarantee in the case of a mine jointly allotted to Aditya Birla Group's flagship company Hindalco and Tata Power due to delays in development of the block
New Delhi: Moving ahead with action against erring coal block allottees, the Indian government has decided to deallocate one more mine and deduct bank guarantees of two others even as the ministerial panel recommended forfeiture of bank guarantee of a block allotted to Hindalco and Tata Power, reports PTI.
The decision to de-allocate Gourangdih ABC coal block, jointly given to JSW Steel, a company owned by Sajjan Jindal, brother of Congress MP Naveen Jindal and Himachal EMTA was taken on the recommendation of the Inter-Ministerial Group (IMG).
The panel is scrutinising 29 out of 58 cases that were served show cause notices for non-development of mines during prescribed timeline.
"I have approved the IMG's recommendations given on Friday and will take a call on others," Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal said.
The IMG, on Friday had recommended de-allocation of the Gourangdih ABC mine, given jointly to JSW Steel and Himachal EMTA, in 2009, having an extractable reserve of 61.54 million tonnes (MT).
With this the total number of blocks approved for de-allocation has gone up to five out of total seven recommended by the IMG so far. Government has also approved deducting bank guarantee (BG) in case of five mines out of total eight recommended by the IMG so far.
Meanwhile, the panel decided to recommend deduction of bank guarantee in the case of a mine jointly allotted to Aditya Birla Group's flagship firm Hindalco and Tata Power due to delays in development of the block.
"The IMG today recommended deduction of bank guarantee of Tubed coal block in Jharkhand, allotted to Hindalco and Tata Power in August 2007," an official source told PTI.
The panel could take up only Tubed block for scrutiny on Monday and would meet again on Monday to scrutinise another six of seven cases, which failed to adhere to the timeframe for developing the mines given to them, sources said.
The Tubed mine, which finds mention in CAG report, has an extractable reserve of 130 million tonnes (MT) and the coal from it was meant to be used for a power project.
The five mines approved by government for de-allocation are - Gourangdih ABC-- jointly given to JSW Steel and Himachal EMTA, Bramhadih in Jharkhand allocated to Castron Mining in 1996, Chinora and Warora (southern part) blocks in Maharashtra given to Fieldmining and Ispat in 2003, Lalgarh (North) block in Jharkhand allotted to DOMCO Smokeless Fuels in 2005.
As far as deduction of BG is concerned, government has accepted the IMG recommendation in case of Marki Mangli II, III and IV in Maharashtra allotted to Shri Virangana Steel in 2005, Lohari block in Jharkhand given to Usha Martin in 2005 and Nerad Malegaon in Maharashtra which was allotted to Gupta Metaliks & Power in 2006.
Besides, the government also gave nod to IMG recommendation for submitting bank guarantee by Monnet Ispat & Energy for Utkal B2 Block in Odisha allocated in 1999.
Some of these coal blocks find mention in the CAG report, which had recently estimated that the financial impact of the benefit to the private allottees will be about Rs1.86 lakh crore.
Meanwhile, the panel is meeting again on Tuesday to decide the fate of about six more coal mines allocated to private firms that were issued notices for delaying production.
The panel has so far scrutinised the replies furnished by 19 coal block allottees out of 29.
It earlier heard the coal block allottees, who were invited to make presentations from 6-8 September, and also obtained updated status paper from Coal Controller/Ministry of Coal.