New Delhi, Sept. 6: An inter-ministerial group (IMG) today began its three-day meet to review 58 coal blocks whose owners had been issued showcause notices for violating production norms.
Ten firms, including Usha Martin, Monnet Ispat and Corporate Ispat Alloys, appeared before the IMG today to explain why they had failed to develop the coal blocks within a given timeframe.
The ministerial group, headed by additional secretary in the coal ministry Zohra Chatterji, was set up in July to recommend the action to be taken against the coal block allottees for not meeting the deadline set for beginning production.
The IMG will review the performances of private companies in developing the coal blocks that were allotted since 1993, as well as look at the encashment of 18 companies’ bank guarantees.
JSPL, Hindalco and Tata Power are also lined up to appear before the panel.
Though notices were issued to 58 companies, only 35 have been asked to present their cases before the IMG, which will submit its recommendations to the coal ministry by September 15.
After making its case before the IMG, Monnet Ispat chairman and managing director Sandeep Jajodia told reporters that the company expected to begin production from the Utkal B2 coal block in Odisha by March 2013.
According to Jajodia, it takes more than six to eight years to begin production from coal blocks.