Millennium Post

SC coal mines order ravages metal stocks by another 20%

Monnet Ispat tumbled 11.10 per cent, Jindal Steel & Power Ltd dipped 7.83 per cent, NMDC (5.07 per cent), Hindalco Industries (4.32 per cent) and Tata Steel (2.82 per cent). Led by the sharp fall in these scrips, the BSE metal index fell by 3 per cent to end at 11,365.94.

In the previous session these stocks had fallen by up to 10 per cent. In a major blow to the corporate sector, the Supreme Court 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 and also gave a six months breathing time to rest of them to wind up their operations by March 31, 2015.

With almost half the thermal power stations in India left with less than a week’s coal stock, the Coal Ministry has called a meeting to review the fuel position at the plants. According to the Central Electricity Authority data, 47 thermal power stations across the country had critical coal stock of less than seven days as on September 23.
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