Govt to bring Ordinance on cancelled coal blocks

New Delhi, Oct 20: Days after the Supreme Court cancelled allocation of 214 coal blocks, the government today moved to bring an Ordinance that will enable it to acquire the land of these mines along with plants for auction later.

The Ordinance has been finalised and will be notified after approval of the Union Cabinet, a source said. The measure has been designed to deal with the implications of the Supreme Court's order in the coal case.

After acquiring the land of these coal blocks, the government would auction these. The apex court had last month quashed allocation of 214 out of 218 coal blocks alloted to various companies since 1993 terming the method as "fatally flawed".

It had allowed the Centre to take over operation of 42 such blocks which are functional. The Coal Ministry has drafted the Ordinance after extensive consultations with Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi.

The issues that need to be resolved by the government in the coal mine case include forfeiting of bank guarantees and title deeds of the land mines purchased by the companies, sources said.

Sources said successful bidders in the fresh auction of coal blocks along with the land and plant standing on it would be liable to pay the earlier allottees the cost of the land and the plant along with 12 per cent annual interest on the amount that was originally invested for purchasing the land and setting up plant.

Also, all allottees whose blocks were cancelled by the top Court would be eligible to participate in the fresh auction barring those convicted in coal related cases, sources added.


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