IMG recommends cancellation of 3 more coal blocks

New Delhi: An Inter-Ministerial Group(IMG) on Saturday recommended deallocation of three more coalblocks including one alloted to SKS Ispat and Power Ltd in which Tourism Minister Subodh Kant Sahai’s brother allegedly had a link and another jointly alloted to Jindal Steel Works(JSW).

With this, the total number of coal blocks recommended by the IMG to the Coal Ministry for cancellation of licenses due to insufficient progress rose to seven. The IMG is curently reviewing coal block allocations which has kicked up a huge political storm.

“The IMG has recommended deallocation of three blocks namely – Gourangdih ABC Coal Block allotted to Himachal EMTA Power Ltd & JSW Steel Ltd, Rawanwara North Coal Block allotted to SKS Ispat and Power Ltd and New Patrapara Coal Block allotted to Bhushan Steel Ltd and others,” an official statement said.

Sources said Sahai’s brother held the position of “honorary director in SKS Ispat and Power.

“The IMG has recommended deduction of Bank Guarantee (BG) in the cases of Nerad Malegaon Block allotted to Gupta Metaliks & Power Ltd & Gupta Coalfields Ltd, Lohari block allotted to Usha martin Ltd, Radhikapur East coal block allotted to Tata Sponge Iron Ltd & others, and Bijahan Coal Block allotted to Bhushan Ltd,” the statement added.

On September 13, the IMG had recommended de-allocation of 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.

The panel has so far scrutinised the replies furnished by 18 coal block allottees, including four today, in its three meeting in the last four days. It would meet again on Monday.

Some of the blocks recommended for de-allocation find mention in the CAG report, which had recently estimated that undue benefits to the tune of Rs 1.86 lakh crore have been accrued to private firms due to allocation of 57 mines without auction.

A decision on the recommendations of the IMG will have to be taken by the Coal Ministry.