Coalgate: JSW Steel, Himachal EMTA mine to be de-allocated

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SummaryWith this, govt has approved cancellation of licenses of 5 out of 7 coal blocks recommended by IMG.

The government today decided to deallocate one more mine – Gourangdih ABC – jointly given to JSW Steel and Himachal EMTA besides deduction of bank guarantees of two allottees for failing to develop mines within time.

This follows the recommendation made by Inter-Ministerial group (IMG), which is scrutinising 29 blocks awarded to the private parties out of the total 58 which were given show cause notices for delays in development and some of these find mention in CAG report.

With this, the government has approved cancellation of licenses of five coal blocks, out of a total seven recommended by the IMG so far.

"I have approved the IMG's recommendations given on Friday and will take a call on others," Coal MinisterSriprakash Jaiswal said ahead of the meeting of the panel, scheduled this afternoon.

The IMG, on Friday had recommended deallocation of the Gourangdih ABC mine, given jointly to JSW Steel and Himachal EMTA, in 2009.

The block has 61.54 million tonnes (MT) of extractable reserves and the coal from the mine was meant to be used for a power project.

The block finds mention in the CAG report as well. The government auditor had said the allottees of the block, located in West Bengal, might have accrued undue benefit to the tune of Rs 1,818 crore.

Earlier, on September 13, the government had decided to de-allocate four blocks – Bramhadih Block in Jharkhand allocated to Castron Mining Ltd in 1996, Chinora and Warora (southern part) blocks in Maharashtra given to Fieldmining and Ispat Ltd in 2003, Lalgarh (North) block in Jharkhand allotted to DOMCO Smokeless Fuels Pvt Ltd in 2005.

It had also accepted the IMG recommendations to deduct Bank Guarantee (BG) in case of Marki Mangli-II, III and IV Blocks in Maharashtra allocated to private player Shri Virangana Steels besides asking Monnet Ispat & Energy to submit BG for Utkal B2 Block in Odisha allocated it.

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