Companies & Sectors
What next for coal mining sector post Supreme Court ruling

As the first step, the government may direct 41 companies that obtained 194 coal blocks 'illegally,  to return blocks where no mining activity has started

 

The Supreme Court has declared that all coal blocks allocated from 1993 are illegal, as these were done "in illegal manner and it suffers from vice of arbitrariness". It further states that coal block allocation done by the screening committee was not "fair and transparent". Now the Supreme Court will decide on the issue of re-allocation of mines on 1st September, just a week from now!

 

Additionally, it clearly directs "that the coal blocks allocated for UMPP - Ultra Mega Power Projects cannot be used for any other plant, as the blocks were allocated on tariff based bidding". The miner cannot hence, supply coal to a third party which is not the UMPP to whom the block was assigned as a captive mine.

 

It may be recalled, in this connection, that the exception was made by the government in the case of Reliance Power for diverting coal from Sasan Mines in Madhya Pradesh (MP) to the power project at Chitrangi, also in MP.

 

Out of the 328 blocks identified by the government, 218 blocks were allocated to both private and government companies. Upto now, 80 blocks have been taken back, leaving a balance of 238 for allocation.

 

Coal production in India has reached about 550 million tonnes (mt) and the captive coal blocks, totalling 33 were given out, with 19 of them for the private sector. Not all of them are in actual operation and the total targetted production of these blocks amounts to 110 mt. In reality, however, it is now estimated that during 2014-15, at best these blocks will be able to mine only about 53 mt.

 

Press reports indicate that in the private sector, companies like Jindal Steel and Power Ltd, Hindalco, Tata Power, Sesa Sterlite and Reliance Power, among others, would be affected by the ruling of the Supreme Court. All of them would anxiously await further orders from the Supreme Court on 1st September.

 

Under these changing circumstances, what should the government do, to ensure that work does not suffer, where the mining operations have actually started? What are the interim actions that they can take?

 

There are as many as 41 companies holding 194 blocks, already declared, by the Supreme Court, that these have been obtained "illegally". As the first step, the government may direct them to "return" these blocks, where no mining activity has started. When such an announcement or directive is given, they are bound to be met with a claim that they were unable to start the operations because of their inability to obtain various clearances from the concerned departments. This claim may not hold good, as now the Supreme Court has declared that the very process of their "acquiring" the block has not been in a transparent manner!

 

Second is for the government to appoint a separate committee to investigate the manner and method through which the blocks were allocated. Maybe, the government may instruct CBI to investigate the issue further.

 

The third step would be NOT to hand over any of these blocks to Coal India Ltd, which has already enough on its plate, and is unable to deliver the goods.

 

Fourth is for the government to clearly identify the blocks, where the allottee has done practically all the work, but is unable to proceed further for lack of final clearance. In these instances, the government may decide either to give the block back to the same company with a clear term of reference, but fine it for "managing" to obtain the block illegally, and ensure that coal production starts within a "reasonable time".

 

Finally, invite totally foreign players, who have proven track records in their country of origin, and ensure that they go into coal production under the FDI, bringing in equipment, technology and the rest.

 

We need to mine our own coal which is available in plenty. Not empty promises that we have been given so far. This whole industry needs to be restructured and reinvented to perform.

 

(AK Ramdas has worked with the Engineering Export Promotion Council of the ministry of commerce. He was also associated with various committees of the Council. His international career took him to places like Beirut, Kuwait and Dubai at a time when these were small trading outposts; and later to the US.)

User

COMMENTS

Jyoti Dua

2 years ago

The recommendations in this article need to be considered by Govt. Inviting FDI for the development of coal mines should be in national interest.

REPLY

MARVELLOUSRESEARCH

In Reply to Jyoti Dua 2 years ago

Akhir amichand ni aulad desh bech degi aarthik gulami ni AUR ek aur kadam

Ravindra

2 years ago

When allocating the Natural Resources, some primary guidelines should be followed apart from the Procedures already existing.
1 No more Public Sector Companies should be created or expanded for the Exploitation of the Natural Resources. Barring few exceptions, such PSUs have only wasted Public Money. They are not accountable to anyone and their Employees have permanent tenures. Coal INDIA is an example and there are numerous more even worse than CIL.
2 As far as possible and subject to the Parties have Interest, Actual Users should get Priority for exploitation of Natural Resources. E.G. Iron Ore mines tot Steel Plants, Coal to power plants etc.
3 Maybe instead of auction, allotment to Actual Users with conditions like a High Royalty payable to Government. Also they should ahve a time limit to start the mines and utilisation strictly for their own use and not for sale to others.
4 Due to self interest of such Companies, the mines will be run most fruitfully and the Country as a whole will stand to benefit.

Dr Anantha K Ramdas

2 years ago

Mr Shadi Katyal: Please permit me to tell you that it is not poor transmission lines that we lose power!

I can only make a guestimate that the power is conveniently stolen in transit by our electricians who come and do jobs at homes and commercial centres. They know how to draw a power line from source - the supply point of the electrical distributor.

Dont believe in what I say - ask any electricians if this can be done or not. This is done everyday, everywhere in the country with impunity.

Yes, it is a bloody shame.

shadi katyal

2 years ago

It is all and well said and true that people are afraid to blow whistle as it has a cost but when the whole system is rotten and no one can do anything even SC Judges, how can things change.
Take case of SC telling PM to clean up his cabinet where there are 12 Cabinet ministers with criminal charges pending.
A nation who has live in the dark clouds of fooling others and doing nothing will not succeed as last 67 years have shown us. We live in self denial and talk of destruction of property etc.
One has to break an egg to make omelet and thus for power needs we need coal as we have no gas or oil and thus such agitations in name of poor people are nothing but fasade
The cost of power will continue to rise as we have very poor transmission lines and loose 25% or more power in poor wires etc.All power should be privatized and let the power companies run the show on profit and loss basis.
We can learn a lot from other nations but we are stuck on our being the one who know better and thus after 67 years we are still going down and looking at now China and Japan for FDI.
Time has come to wake up and join the world and stop lecturing the world .
Our recent spanner in the WTO has not made any friends in the world and it is time we learn what world looks like and how we can be part of it

REPLY

MARVELLOUSRESEARCH

In Reply to shadi katyal 2 years ago

Sarkar shri nu chale to as desh ma Pakistan ni FDI pan lavi deshe desh na loko bandhva majdoor rahse ...jai ho

Dr Anantha K Ramdas

2 years ago

Thanks for the comments, M/s Prem
Bajaj and Shadi Katyal. It is only now there is some protection available for the whistle blowers in the country!

But the problem is that most staff members in any organization are small cogs in the wheel and do not take action to raise their voice, simply because of fear that their integrity will bring in misery for them from powerful goons who are associated with this kind of illegal activities. They "see" things happening, and yet, they don't "see" and simply mind their business and move on. Unless this stops, we are in trouble.

Many characters in these dramas keep quiet and make all the noise they can, once they "retire" or outside the organization. I do not have to name them! If someone finds something "fishy" is going on, they must stand up to raise their voice at THAT time. Or quit and say in public through the same media, as to why they quit!

Fortunately, the awakening is taking place now - it is good for the country. Hope, like you have pointed out, stringent action is taken against the guilty and steps taken to ensure such things don't happen again.
That may still be a wishful thinking, but nonetheless sincere.

Prem Bajaj

2 years ago

firstly, permit competition and bring about transparency in dealings. these are public resources and for public benefit authorising bidders to profit subject to clear benefits to society at large. our power bills keep going higher and billings that is difficult to understand..... with displacement of citizens from their lands and homes, destruction of protected/eco-sensitive areas, all for a personal profit and a huge cost to government and the people. Besides, every participant was aware on the matter under discussions, but none seem to have presented an alternative for the courts and people (or representatives) to debate and consider for continuity. Such short-sightedness or lethargy expecting business-as-usual in their favour. Its time for change, time to wake up and taste the new coffee...

shadi katyal

2 years ago

It is interesting to red that suddenly SC has found a conscious and decided to take some action after sleeping for almost a decade in case of Coal Gate.Media has been shouting but our Judges slept.
When is the judges going to learn after 6 decades that British Monarchy ended and time to wake up Democratic system.
What are the damage to power and steal plants down turn and cost? Has the Hon'ble Judges have taken to protect the power and industry?
SC must show its independence and show some teeth and take action and let the chips fall.

REPLY

Prem Bajaj

In Reply to shadi katyal 2 years ago

so long as subsidies rule, the politics will play. bring in the competition and transparency in equality, and with the right numbers in place, people will learn to educate themselves or be eradicated.

Sickness care or corporate monstrosity?

Cardiac procedures bring in billions of dollars in cash for doctors, hospitals and the instrument manufacturers, in addition to television interviews. Sadly, the procedures are done not to help patients but to benefit these few

 

“Rather fail with honour than succeed by fraud.”
                                                                                  Sophocles


In a book that is very well reviewed by the New York Times, an Indian born American doctor, Sandeep Jauhar “puts himself on the couch” pricked by his conscience. In his book “Doctored”, Sandeep examines the broken system of medical practice in the US. Thanks to the Indian Karma theory, this young cardiologist, who was the director of a teaching hospital in New Jersey, had to eventually leave his job as he refused to interfere where the patient did not need it. After being thrown out, he joined another practising cardiologist, where again he found that ethical practice was given a go by. His boss told him that he also tried ethical practice and found himself in debts. Now, he has joined the mainstream. Sandeep left that job also as he was asked to carry out all tests including angiography for all patients who came there!


This is exactly what we do in India now and even our politicians think that we have the best system in place. Our Union Health Minister wants AIIMS like hospitals in every state! In the west, there is a cry for closing down such hospitals, while we want to start more of them. No one seems to be bothered to audit the system to see what AIIMS achieved during the time it exists, and what is the benefit to the common man? Such a study would be most appropriate to scientifically find out what to do for the future. An audit of 14 industrialised countries from US to Japan showed that those countries with too many specialists and sub-specialists and very high doctor -patient ratio like the US fared so badly that the system had completely broken down with highest disease, death and disability rates, while Japan with the very small doctor- patient ratio with majority of doctors being family physicians ranked first with increased longevity, decreased death, disease and disability rates!


When doctors went on strike in many countries in the last 25 years-Saskatchewan, Bogota, Los Angeles County, Dublin and recently in Israel- death rates almost plummeted to the bottom with disability rate reduced significantly in every place only to return to the original levels when doctors came back to work. It is reported that in Israel morticians had to bribe the government to give doctors higher pay for them to get back to work as morticians’ coffin business had almost shut down! This prompted the British Medical Journal to comment in an article that “doctors going on strike will improve society’s health”. The French government started a Chinese medical hospital with one hundred beds in Paris while their western medical system had become prohibitively expensive. The new hospital had brought down the medical expense to the government very significantly. Nobel Laureate Professor Bernard Lown, one of world’s best cardiologists from Harvard felt in his research article in the JAMA that unless we ban coronary angiograms for diagnosis of coronary artery disease, patients will suffer unnecessarily. Professor Tom Treasure, a cardiac surgeon, pleaded with the British Government through The Lancet that they should drastically reduce cardiac surgical centres in Britain to stop wasting money on unnecessary tests.


Professor Harlan Krumholz, a Yale cardiologist, wrote an editorial in the (NEJM 1997; 336: 1523) about cardiac interventions: "cardiac procedures bring in billions of dollars in cash for doctors, hospitals and the instrument manufacturers, in addition to television interviews. The procedures are done mainly to get those benefits and not to help patients in the US.”


Let me conclude this by quoting a patient that I saw yesterday, who had a very sordid story. A very healthy 63-year-old man, who is also a good writer in Kannada, had mild elevation of his blood sugar for the last six months, which he had very well controlled with exercise and diet. On an average, he walks ten kilometres a day, including a steep incline up a hill to reach his temple. He was feeling fit as a fiddle.


His publisher and a dear friend, an Ayurvedic physician, who, for some unexplained reason, has a fascination for western medicine, almost forced him to have a “check-up” since he has been a “diabetic”! He took him in his own car to a “special centre” in an upcoming District headquarters nearby. The doctor had also told him to have enough money should he need any interventions. As soon as they went in, the patient was asked by the cardiologist to have his ECG done, which unfortunately turned out to be normal. But he was told that he needed an exercise test to see if there is any fault. Before that he had an echo test, which showed a normal heart with very good ejection fraction (good function). Still, the cardiologist insisted that he should have the TMT. No one had either talked to him or listened to him or even touched him, leave alone physically examine him. Doing TMT on a healthy man who walks daily ten kilometres up a hill with ease is a business. Scientifically TMT has no value as that test has its sensitivity and specificity less than 50%, which means whether it is positive or negative it means nothing. More over, the test results depend on the disease prevalence in society, which we do not know for India! Professor Perloff of Washington University had designed a Hyperbole, which should be used to plot the results to get a semblance of value for the test. The only value of TMT is the fall of blood pressure during exercise. This denotes a bad heart muscle. In this hospital BP was never recorded during the TMT!


However, TMT was declared to be positive and the patient was almost forced to have an angiogram in spite of his mild protests. Poor man still has a swollen left hand with blood leak outside the artery and inflammation from the catheter! He was then told that he needs either an angioplasty or bypass surgery ASAP. At this stage, he smelt a rat and paid their bill and walked out of the hospital. Interestingly, the discharge note has the following diagnosis for an apparently healthy man who NEVER ever had chest pain. Chronic Stable Angina with three vessel disease and diabetes Mellitus type II. The angiogram, in fact, showed some small peripheral blocks in the epicardial vessels.  


The man came to see me walking slowly (he was asked not to walk till he has the interventions) and talking in whispers- a really sickly pathetic picture. It took me nearly an hour to make him a MAN again and send him back asking him to go back to get his eight tablets prescription also gradually reduced, lest he should bleed seriously from the gut or inside the brain for no fault of his. He was on two blood thinners, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, long acting nitrates (which get tachyphylaxis soon and become useless), and some other fancy drugs. All the man needed was, change of his mode of living with some minimal drugs for him to get off the high horse of the rat race that he was running, which put him in the fight-flight-freight mode always. Medication could be an added boost.


God save our hapless patients from this corporate monstrosity.


      “There are three things in the world that deserve no mercy, hypocrisy, fraud, and tyranny.”
                                                                         Frederick William


(Professor Dr BM Hegde, a Padma Bhushan awardee in 2010, is an MD, PhD, FRCP (London, Edinburgh, Glasgow & Dublin), FACC and FAMS. He is also Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the Science of Healing Outcomes, chairman of the State Health Society's Expert Committee, Govt of Bihar, Patna. He is former Vice Chancellor of Manipal University at Mangalore and former professor for Cardiology of the Middlesex Hospital Medical School, University of London.)

User

COMMENTS

vswami

2 years ago

“There are three things in the world that deserve no mercy,- hypocrisy, fraud, and tyranny.” < Frederick William
What is so said by FW, with extreme remorse from the bottom of the heart, going by one's own experience, howsoever limited that be, is no exaggeration even in a small measure; but holds good with equal force and tenacity, if not more, to any other 'profession' – besides sworn Politicians, Lawyers. Accountants, SO ON ; AND NOT ONLY IN ONE COUNTRY BUT IN ALL AROUND THE GLOBE. THAT DRIVES ONE TO FIRMLY BELIEVE THAT IS A UNIVERSAL TRAIT FOUND IN THE HUMANS- MAY BE, INGRAINED IN BLOOD IN CIRCULATION IN THE INTERIOR. WITH RARE EXCEPTIONS TO COME BY.

MOHAN

2 years ago

A heartless profession?

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/...

Nagesh Kini

2 years ago

The Sunday Times of India on August 24, 2014 carried a write up by Chidanand Rajghatta entitled - "A heartless profession" with a photograph of Dr. Jauhar. The box below the photo - "Time to reflect: it is not the topic of the book but the candor with which Jauhar has approached it has shocked the medical fraternity in the US."
The conditions here in metro India are equally bad going worse by the day.

krishna

2 years ago

Exellent Article. Very nicely supported with references and quotes.

Knee Replacement is the next big thing.

Agreed fully as I have been persuading people to stay away from medical intervention. Success ratio has been very low. Hopefully the article will boost people like me.

Good job and continue with such inputs

shivkumar

2 years ago

I am reminded of an old cartoon by R.K.Laxman wherein he depicted that due to a prolonged strike in Municipal hospitals in Mumbai, the recovery rate of patients had improved during the strike period. So much for medical treatment.

It is high time that the thrust in Medicine is put on Prevention rather than cure.

Mahesh Kumar Tennati

2 years ago

very true. I have been a victim of this myself. My father was recommended a TMT with ECG done. Went to Vijaya Diagnotstics for TMT, and the cardiologist refused to look at ECG and insisted on 2D Echo, and scared us that without 2D, it may be fatal to do TMT.Charged Rs.950 for the 2D. Prescribed some drugs and warned us in writing not to go for any Ayurvedic medicines.
Do these doctors sell their souls for money?No wonder if they do.

Competition Commission slaps Rs2,545 crore penalty on carmakers

The CCI penalised 14 carmakers, including Tata Motors, Maruti Suzuki, Honda and General Motors for abusing their dominant position by making available spare parts only through their authorised dealers, who in turn sell them at higher rates

 

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has slapped a penalty of Rs2,545 crore on 14 carmakers for violating trade norms in the spare-part and after-sale service market.

 

As per the complaint filed by Samsher Katatia in 2011, Honda Siel Cars India Ltd, Volkswagen India Pvt Ltd and Fiat India Auomobiles Ltd were accused of abusing their dominant position by making available spare parts only through their authorised dealers, who in turn sell them on high rates.

 

The companies penalised by the Commission include Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors, Honda Siel Cars India, Volkswagen India, Fiat India, BMW India, Ford India, General Motors India, Hindustan Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra, Mercedes-Benz India, Nissan Motor India, Skoda Auto India and Toyota Kirloskar Motor.

 

“...the Commission’s primary objective is to correct the distortions in the after market, to provide corrective measures to make the market more competitive, to eradicate practices having foreclosure effects and to put an end to the present anti-competitive conduct of the parties. The aim of the Commission is to provide more freedom to Original Equipment Suppliers (OESs) in sale of spare parts, and more choice to consumers and independent repairers. The Commission considers it

necessary to (i) enable the consumers to have access to spare parts and also be free to choose between independent repairers and authorized dealers and (ii) enable the independent repairers participate in the after market and provide services in a competitive manner and to have access to essential inputs such as spare parts and other technical information for this purpose, as part of a more competitive eco-system which is equally fair to the OPs and their authorized network also,” the CCI mentioned in its order.

 

The penalty - 2% of these companies' average turnover in the past three years - will have to be deposited within 60 days of receipt of the order, the CCI said.

 

Tata Motors is penalised the maximum of Rs1,346 crore followed by Maruti Suzuki at Rs471 crore. Mahindra & Mahindra is asked to pay Rs292 crore, General Motors Rs85 crore and Honda Car India Rs78 crore by the Competition Commission.

 

In its order, the Commission said, "...anti-competitive conduct of the opposite parties impacts a very large number of consumers in the country estimated to be around two crore. Further, the anti-competitive conduct of the opposite parties has restricted the expansion of spare parts and independent repairers segment of the economy to its full potential, at the cost of the consumers, service providers and dealers. It is also noted that despite the fact that most attractive markets for the automobile manufacturers and some OPs (carmakers) have made consumer-friendly commitments in other jurisdictions like Europe, they have failed to adopt similar practices in India which would have gone a long way in significantly diluting their present anti-competitive conduct. This makes their conduct even more deplorable."

 

Earlier, in 2012, the Director General of CCI submitted a report after its investigation into the matter. The Commission was pursuing the case under Section 4 of the Competition Act that relates to abuse of dominant position by enterprises.

 

User

COMMENTS

Dev

2 years ago

Great ruling by CCI

Shri Shamsher Kataria - Informant

Sh. Sameer Oberoi, Sh. Aditya Patni, Advocates for Informant

Mr. Ashok Chawla, Chairman
Mr. Anurag Goel,Member
Mr. M. L. Tayal,Member

Thank you all



Veeresh Malik

2 years ago

The full judgement can be read here

http://www.cci.gov.in/May2011/OrderOfCom...

MoneyLife has written on this subject from 2010 onwards.

Some points which may be of interest to readers are listed here-

# Inherent right of buyer to free usage and upgrades of all proprietory software on single user basis for life-cycle of product as is the case with OS in computers. This has not been addressed at all.

# Safety aspect of not being provided with the above usage and upgrades of proprietory software which is installed in a vehicle purchased by consumer.

# The enquiry does not appear to include two-wheelers, three-wheelers and medium/heavy vehicle manufacturers in its ambit.

# 3.9.6 - even some generics like batteries are now make / model specific thanks to intervening technologies between battery and vehicle.

# 3.9.16 deals with refusal to manufacture or supply parts of a particular (type of) automobile which is still in use.

# 3.9.28 - transfer of an intellectual property right is not automatic from parent to subsidiary if it is only a technology transfer agreement, since IPRs are territorial in nature. Brilliant point!!!

# 3.9.29 - likewise, copyright protection claimed on design whether Indian or foreign is not automatic, needs to be registered in India, and if not registered, then ceases to exist once the said design has been used once the concerned design has been applied more than 50 times by industrial process by the owner of the copyright or his licensee.

# 3.9.30 "Confidentiality" protection is not automatic between OEM and OES, and need to be under the CCI Section 3 be satisfied that these are "trade secrets" , and trade secrets are not protected under IPR.

# 3.9.31 "Prior consent" is required by OES from OEMs for direct selling of spare parts which brings into question the issue of IPR, copyright, confidentiality or trade secret.

# 3.9.34 is the analysis of "appreciable adverse effect on competition" (AAEC) and for the first time possible, FADA (Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations) have come out in "c" against the manufacturers cause an AAEC to the dealers too! Not just the customers. Interesting.

Dev

2 years ago

I was not aware of this fact.

Now onwards if spare parts of my car is over charged I will take them to Court.

Who is the Petitioner?

I really think he SHOULD be awarded

Veeresh Malik

2 years ago

Some points on this order.

# Inherent right of buyer to free usage and upgrades of all proprietory software on single user "per vehicle" basis for life-cycle of product as is the case with OS in computers. This has not been addressed at all.

# Safety aspect of not being provided with the above usage and upgrades of proprietory software which is installed in a vehicle purchased by consumer.

# The enquiry does not appear to include two-wheelers, three-wheelers and medium/heavy vehicle manufacturers in its ambit.

# 3.9.6 - even some generics like batteries are now make / model specific thanks to intervening technologies controlling power supply and safety between battery and vehicle.


MOHAN

2 years ago

Car makers were indeed guilty of violating trade norms as they failed to make their genuine spare parts available freely in the open market.

Great Order.

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