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PMO not happy over functioning by coal ministry

New Delhi, Sep 2 (Truth Dive): The PMO has uttered discontentment over functioning of the coal ministry in cancelling blocks, where mining did not occur and hence asked to speed up the matter before Sep 6, amidst disapproval of the coal report.

The PMO message to the coal ministry came prior to the inter-ministerial group meeting (IMG) on Monday, in order to take decisions on the fate of 58 coal blocks including 25 blocks allocated to private companies like Tata Power, reliance Power and Arcelor Mittal.

On Aug 27 the PMO has expressed and conveyed its distress to the coal ministry over inaction regarding the de-allocation of blocks to which show-cause notices have been issued. In the month of April the government slapped notices to the companies which were finding difficulties in developing the 58 coal blocks before the given time.

Apart from Tata Power, Reliance Power and Arcelor Mittal, notices were issued to firms like Hindalco, Grasim industries, GVK Power, MMTC and few others. Later in the month of June, the government recommended the IMG to analyze the development of coal blocks allocated to companies for captive use.

In addition to this, the CBI also is probing criminality in 12 firms that were provided licenses under the’ fast track’ class but has not yet started mining of the allocated coal blocks. The PMO has requested the IMG to submit the details before Sep 15.

In response to the show cause notices, the IMG is expected to take a decision against 33 blocks allocated to government firms and 25 given to the private companies according to their reply. The show-cause notices were issued to all these firms in April for their inability to develop mines.

In a recent report that was tabled in the parliament it was stated that undue benefits to the tune of Rs 1.86 lakh crore were extended to private firms on account of allocation of 57 mines without auction.

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