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Six more blocks to be cancelled in coal scam

Stepping up action, the government on Wednesday decided to cancel six more coal blocks allocated to private companies and deduct bank guarantees of seven others for failing to develop the mines within the time-frame.

‘Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal on Wednesday approved the IMG’s recommendation to de-allocate six more mines and deduct bank guarantees of seven. Earlier, the government has already announced cancelling licences of seven mines and deducting bank guarantees of seven others,’ sources said.

Bhaskarpara allotted to Grasim Industries and Electrotherm; Dahegaon Markardhokra IV given to IST Steel & Power; North Dhadu allotted to Electrosteel Castings; Choritand Telaiyaallotted to Rungta Mines and Gondkhari block allotted to Maharashtra Seamless were among the blocks whose deallocation was approved on Wednesday, the sources said.

The seven blocks approved for deduction of bank guarantees include Seregarha block given jointly to the world’s largest steel producer ArcelorMittal and GVK Powe; Moitra block allotted to Jayaswal Neco; Dumri block given to Neelachal Iron & Steel and Durgapur II/ Sariya block allotted to DB Power.

With this, the government has accepted all the recommendations by an Inter-Ministerial Group (IMG), which had recommended de-allocation of 13 mines and deduction of bank guarantees of 14 allottees after scrutinising 31 coal blocks allotted to private companies. Among the de-allocated blocks, Dahegaon-Makardhokra IV block was given to IST Steel and Power, along with cement firms Gujarat Ambuja and Lafarge India, in June 2009.
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