Some more coal blocks to be de-allocated: Jaiswal

New Delhi: Government today said mining licenses of some more companies would be cancelled.

“Some more coal blocks would be de-allocated,” Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal told reporters after attending a meeting on infrastructure projects convened by Finance Minister P Chidambaram.

The statement comes ahead of the meeting of the Inter-Ministerial Group on coal block, scheduled this afternoon to decide on the fate of about 10 coal blocks allocated to private firms.

Yesterday, the government had decided to de-allocate four blocks and to deduct bank guarantees of three others belonging to private companies for failing to meet timelines on production and development of mines.

The blocks recommended for de-allocation included 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 and Lalgarh (North) block in Jharkhand allotted to DOMCO Smokeless Fuels Pvt Ltd in 2005.

The IMG had also recommended deduction of Bank Guarantee (BG) in case of Marki Mangli-II, III and IV Blocks in Maharashtra allocated to Shri Virangana Steels Ltd and deposit of BG by Monnet Ispat & Energy Ltd for Utkal B2 Block in Odisha allocated to it.

The eight blocks are among 58, which are under scrutiny of the IMG. It has so far taken up the cases of 29 allocated to private companies.

The blocks were de-allocated after the controversy over the allocation of coal blocks broke out with the CAG estimating undue benefits of Rs 1.86 lakh crore to private firms due to allocation of 57 mines sans auction.