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Web Exclusive | May 2013

Union Coal Ministry serves notices on 32 firms

The Union Coal Ministry is learnt to have issued show-cause notices to 32 companies for their failure to carry out any substantial progress in the development of the coal blocks allocated to them. Officials in the Coal Ministry said that coal blocks, which have been issued show-cause notices, include those belonging to the Tata group, Jindal Steel and Power and Jayaswal group.

The maximum number of notices was issued to the Jindal group, which was allocated a total of 11 blocks. The decision to issue the notices was taken on the recommendations of an Inter-Ministerial Group set up by the government to look into the issue of failure of the various companies to develop the coal blocks, and weed out the unwanted and non-serious players.

The government has already de-allocated coal blocks in 22 cases, and bank guarantees have been fortified in the case of another 36 entities. Officials said the action against the 32 companies was based purely on their failure to develop the coal blocks and there was no irregularity angle in the situation.

The irregularities in coal block allocation was being probed by CBI which has already taken possession of nearly 730 files pertaining to allocation of coal blocks between 1993 to 2008.

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