Millennium Post

Govt seeks critical info on cancelled coal blocks

Concerned over delay in response by miners to its request seeking information on captive coal blocks that have been cancelled by the Supreme Court, the government has asked them to immediately furnish details of the employees they have as well as on land ownership.

In case there is no response to its latest request, it would be presumed that they have no information to provide, the government has said.

'...refer to this ministry's letter dated 1 October requesting therein to furnish the information...regarding number of employees employed by your company/ organisation (except contractual employees employed by the Mine-Developer- cum-Operator) and the status of ownership of land by 7, October' the Coal Ministry said in a letter dated 14 October to allocatees of 96 coal blocks.

'Since it is Supreme Court matter and no response has been received from your company, your are requested to furnish the information without delay. In case, no reply is received, it may be presumed that your company has no information to furnish,' the ministry said.

The companies which have been asked to furnish details include Jindal Steel and Power Ltd, Abhijeet Infrastructure, Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd, Adani Power and Usha Martin.

In a major blow to the corporate sector, the Supreme Court had last month quashed allocation of 214 out of 218 coal blocks alloted to various companies since 1993 terming it as 'fatally flawed' and allowed the Centre to take over operation of 42 such blocks which are functional.

The apex court said the beneficiaries of the illegal process 'must suffer' the consequences and refused to show sympathy to private companies which submitted that Rs 2.87 lakh crores have been invested in 157 coal blocks and Rs 4 lakh crores in end-use plants.

It, however, saved from the 'guillotine' four allocations one each to SAIL and NTPC and two blocks to Sasan Power Ltd owned by Anil Ambani's Reliance Power.
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