Government cancels three more coal blocks

The Centre cancelled four coal blocks on September 13

The government on Tuesday de-allocated three coal blocks, including the one given to a company where Union Tourism Minister Subodh Kant Sahai’s brother is a honorary director.

Acting on a report of an inter-ministerial group (IMG), the government also ordered deduction of bank guarantee of two companies, including one owned by the Tatas, for delay in developing coal blocks.

The Rawanwara North Coal Block allotted to SKS Ispat and Power Ltd, where Sahai’s brother Sudhir Kumar is the honorary director, was de-allocated, along with the New Patrapara Coal Block allotted to Bhushan Steel Ltd and the Gourangdih ABC Coal Block allotted to Himachal EMTA Power & JSW Steel. Sahai had reportedly written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2007, when he had held the Coal portfolio, requesting him to allocate two coal blocks to SKS Ispat and Power in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.

 The IMG also recommended deduction of bank guarantee of two blocks including the Jitpur block, allotted to Jindal Steel & Power Ltd, where Congress MP Naveen Jindal is the Chairman cum Managing Director. The amount of the bank guarantee to be deducted was not immediately known.

The government had cancelled four coal blocks on September 13. These were the Brahmdiha Block alloted to Castron Mining Limited, the Chinora and Warora (southern part) blocks allocated to Fieldmining and Ispat Limited and the Lalgarh North block, allotted to DOMCO Smokeless Fuels.

The Union government had also approved deduction of bank guarantee in case of the Marki Mangli-II, III and IV blocks, alloted to Virangana Steels Ltd.

   It also approved that in case of the Utkal B2 Block, alloted to Monnet Ispat & Energy, where there was substantial progress but no provision for bank guarantee, the allocatee may be asked to submit the bank guarantee amounting to three years royalty within a period of one month from date of letter in this regard, failing which the block may be de-allocated.  

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