Fate of 29 coal blocks likely to be decided soon

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Coal scam
New Delhi, Sept 11: An Inter-Ministerial Group (IMG) may decide the fate of 29 coal blocks allocated to private companies out of the 58 mines that were issued notices for delaying production.

"The meeting of IMG likely to be held tomorrow (Sept 12) may finalise recommendations with regard to allotments of 29 coal blocks made to firms whose representatives were given a final chance to present their case last week," a top Coal Ministry official said.

The final decision with regard to these blocks, however, would be only taken after taking a view from the Ministry of Law as well feedback from Coal Controller on the current status of these mines, another official in the Coal Ministry said.

Besides, the IMG might also take up the cases of a few firms whose bank guarantees would be forfeited for delaying the production from mines, the top ministry official added. The official also said the final report with regard to 29 mines allocated to private firms would be presented before the Coal Ministry.

The report on the remaining 29 coal mines of the public sector firms which were issued show cause notices would be submitted to the ministry sometime later, the official said.

Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal had asked its ministry to submit the report on the 58 coal blocks which were issued show cause notices for delaying production from the mines by Sept 15. The deadline of Sept 15 was set by the Coal Ministry in the wake of uproar over irregularities in the allocation of coal blocks after CAG estimated undue benefits to the tune of Rs 1.86 lakh crore to private firms on account of allocation of blocks to them without auction.

PTI

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