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Consider Rs 139 cr bank guarantee waiver, NTPC urges Coal Ministry

Against the backdrop of Coal Ministry imposing a bank guarantee of Rs 138.6 crore on NTPC for delays in developing its mine in Jharkhand, the power PSU has requested the government to consider waiver of the amount as its block is at an advanced stage.

NTPC ‘requested Ministry of Coal to consider waiver of imposition of Bank Guarantee (BG) to the extent of Rs 138.6 crore as recommended by 23rd IMG (Inter-Ministerial Group) held on 24th and 25th October, 2013 since the block is at an advanced stage and the delay in the start of coal production is beyond the control of NTPC’, according to an official document.

Pakri Barwadih coal block in North Karanpura coalfields of Jharkhand was allocated to NTPC in October, 2004. The mine has geological reserves of 1,600 million tonnes (MT).

‘...NTPC stated that all the milestones like mining plan, mine closure plan environment clearance and forest clearance, land acquisition and coal controller permission for the coal block have been completed,’ the official document said.

‘The reasons for non-commencement of the coal production despite of all the clearances can be attributed to lack of support of government of Jharkhand,’ it added. The decision to impose the BG was taken following the recommendation of the IMG on coal blocks.

‘IMG recommends imposition of Bank Guarantee on the allocatee (NTPC) in order to expedite the development and production from coal block (Pakri Barwadih min in Jharkhand,’ the coal ministry said in a letter dated February 13 to the Chairman and Managing Director of PSU.

The government had formed the IMG in 2012 to review the progress of coal blocks allocated to firms for captive use and recommend action, including de-allocation.

The panel under the chairmanship of additional secretary in the Coal Ministry has members from other ministries, including steel and power.

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