31 May 2012

Coal Blocks to Private Companies

Coal blocks to private companies are allocated only for specified end uses including generation of power for captive consumption under Section 3(3)(a)(iii) of the Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Act, 1973. This in was given by Minister of State for Coal Shri Pratik Prakshbapu Patil in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.

The Minister said that a total of 111 coal blocks have been allocated to various private sector companies (including coal blocks allocated to power projects under tariff based competitive bidding). Out of 111 coal blocks, 16 coal blocks have started production. The remaining coal blocks which have not started production so far, are in various stages of obtaining statutory clearances and mining lease, preparing mining plan, acquisition of land, procuring machinery and equipment etc. for both mining as well as end-use project. 

The responsibility of developing the coal block as per the prescribed guidelines and milestone chart attached with the allocation letter rests entirely with the allocattee company. In the terms and conditions of the allocation letters, it is categorically mentioned that in the event of willful delay in the development of coal blocks and in setting up of the end use project, the Government will take appropriate action to de-allocate the said block. The Coal Controller’s office monitors on regular basis the achievement of different milestones. Government periodically monitors and reviews the development of allocated blocks as well as end use plants by the allocattee companies in the Review Meetings. Wherever delays are noticed, Government issues show cause notices and advisories to such allocattees cautioning them to bring the coal blocks into production as per the guidelines/milestones chart. As on date, based on the recommendations of review committee meetings held, the Government has de-allocated 25 coal blocks and 3 lignite blocks.

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