Millennium Post

Coal block scandal: ED attaches Nagpur industry's assets

The Enforcement Directorate has attached Rs 206-crore assets of the Nagpur-based business group Jayaswal Neco Industries Limited in a coal block allocation case, an official said on Friday.

"We have provisionally attached Rs 206-crore plant and machinery of Jayaswal Neco Industry's Dagori Integrated Steel Plant at Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh. The attachment was made under Prevention of Money Laundering Act," an Enforcement Directorate (ED) official said.

The ED initiated investigation in the case on the basis of May 2014 FIR registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against Jayaswal Neco Industries Ltd and its directors.

The CBI has filed chargesheet before a Delhi court against the company and its directors for alleged commission of the offence of criminal conspiracy, cheating and criminal breach of trust under sections of the Indian Penal Code.

The Neco group had been allotted mines in neighbouring state of Chhattisgarh for its different companies. In the present case, Jayaswal Neco, which is the flagship company, was allotted the Gare Palma IV/4 blocks.

The company obtained Gare Palma coal block through fraudulent means by making misrepresentation, an ED official said, and added that the company resorted to illegal use of coal mined in their captive power plant without any permission from central government.

"As per allocation letter, Jayaswal Neco Industries had to wash the coal in a washery to 20 per cent ash level and the middling or rejects produced during the process to be used in its captive power plant."

"However, the coal was used directly in their sponge iron plant and captive power plant without setting up a washery or without any approval for its use in the captive power plant directly," the official said.

During investigation by the ED, it emerged that Jayaswal Neco Industries had extracted 3.8 million tonnes of coal during 2006-2015 from Gare Palma coalfield.

The company used the entire mined coal for production of steel and power in its plant, therefore the profit accrued out of sale of such steel and power has been accumulated in the reserve and surplus of the company, the official said.

"The company during the period (of 10 years) under consideration has expanded its production capacity and fixed assets."

After deducting the royalty and the additional cess paid by Jayaswal Neco Industries Ltd, it is seen that the company had benefited to the extent of Rs 206 crore on account of the extraction of coal from the Gare Palma coal block, which is the part of the proceeds derived from criminal activity relating to the schedule offence, he added.
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