The inter-ministerial group (IMG) on Tuesday recommended de-allocation of one block and invoking of bank guarantees of two blocks in Jharkhand.

The Macherkunda block in Jharkhand, which will be de-allocated, was awarded to Bihar Sponge Iron Ltd on August 2008 with estimated geological reserves of 23.86 million tonnes. Bank guarantees will be invoked for Naveen Jindal-promoted Jindal Steel & Power Ltd’s block and also a block allocated to Corporate Ispat.

Bihar Sponge Iron is a part of Umesh Modi Group. It has investments from Bihar State Industrial Development Corp. (BSIDC), Modi Group, German Investment and Development Company (DEG) and International Finance Corporation (Washington). This takes the total count of blocks recommended for de-allocation to eight.

Till now, Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal has given approval for de-allocation of seven blocks.

At the same time, the panel headed by Additional Secretary at Coal Ministry Zohra Chatterji decided to invoke bank guarantee of Jitpur block and Chitarpur North in Jharkhand. The Jitpur block with geological reserves of 81.09 million tonnes were awarded to Naveen Jindal-promoted Jindal Steel & Power Ltd on February 2007.

On the other hand, Chitarpur North was allocated to Corporate Ispat Ltd in September 2005 with 212.01 million tonnes of reserve.

siddhartha.s@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on September 18, 2012)
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