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Govt cancels allotment of Urtan coal mine to JSPL, Monnet Ispat

‘The companies have failed to develop the same (coal block) as per the milestones prescribed without any valid reasons for the delay, it has been decided to de-allocate the Urtan North coal block in the state of Madhya Pradesh allocated to Jindal Steel & Power Ltd and Monnet Ispat & Energy Ltd,’ the Coal Ministry said in a letter dated 17 December to both the companies.

The ministry further said that the companies will not be eligible for allocation of any coal block in lieu of deallocated block. The companies did not respond to the queries sent to them on the development.

The ministry said: ‘Order regarding deduction and encashment of proportionate BG (bank guarantee) linked to the milestones set for development of the block as per the allocation letter would be issued separately after receipt of calculation of amount from the office of coal controller.’

The decision was taken after the inter-ministerial group's (IMG) recommendation for deallocation of block.

‘Taking into account the facts...EC (environment clearance), land acquisition, grant of previous approval of mining lease are pending, IMG recommends deallocation of coal blocks,’ the ministry said.

The coal block was allocated to both the firms in 2009 to meet the requirement of their sponge iron plants. The government had formed the IMG last year to review the progress of coal blocks allocated to firms for captive use and recommend action, including de-allocation for delays in development of mines.

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