Gujarat Ambuja, Grasim and Lafarge blocks under a cloud

Last Updated: Thu, Sep 20, 2012 21:36 hrs

The government’s Inter-Ministerial Group (IMG) reviewing progress of coal blocks is understood to have recommended cancelling two more acreages being developed by five companies, according to people close to the development. A final view on the recommendation will be taken by Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal soon.

The two blocks include Bhaskarpara with 24.6 million tonnes (mt) being developed jointly by Electrotherm (India) Ltd and Grasim Industries Ltd and Dahegaon/Makardhokra-IV with 131 mt reserves being developed by IST Steel & Power, Gujarat Ambuja Cement and Lafarge India.

Sources also said the IMG was not likely to give recommendation in the case of blocks held by Jas Infrastructure Capital and Vini Iron & Steel as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed First Information Reports against the two companies, alleging misrepresentation to get blocks.

Based on IMG’s recommendation, the government has so far cancelled allocations of seven blocks. The panel has already reviewed 29 blocks held by private companies and is going to take up another set of 29 blocks by public sector companies in the next round of review.

The government had set up the IMG last year to probe allegations of unnatural delays in the development of these blocks by companies.

The panel is headed by coal ministry’s Additional Secretary Zohra Chatterji.

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