Jindal Steel, Monnet Ispat slam govt decision to de-allocate coal blocks

PTI New Delhi | Updated on November 24, 2013 Published on November 24, 2013

Slamming the decision to de-allocate their coal blocks, Jindal Steel and Power and Monnet Ispat and Energy have blamed lack of government approvals and external factors like Naxal activities for not making enough progress in their mines.

The two companies, whose four blocks figure in the list of 11 to be de-allocated, said that they are being punished for no fault of theirs.

The de-allocation is seen as a major setback to both as the blocks were supposed to be the captive raw material source for their upcoming/existing steel and power plants. Jindal’s Rs 80,000-crore mega venture of coal-to-liquid project is likely to be hit.

The two companies have together invested over 11,000 crore so far on development of their end-use plants.

“At the outset, we are shocked and surprised to hear the recommendation made by IMG (inter-ministerial group), it seems that everybody in the policy making/monitoring wants to avoid a pragmatic decision in view of the media hype,” Monnet Ispat spokesperson said in a statement.

JSPL spokesperson said that the company’s coal blocks are being de-allocated “despite best efforts made by the company and no fault on part of the company’’.

Last week, the Coal Ministry had decided to de-allocate 11 captive coal blocks allotted to various companies. JSPL’s three — Ramchandi promotional block, Amarkonda Murgadangal and Urtan North (jointly with Monnet) — figure in the list. Monnet’s one more block, Rajagamar Dipside (jointly with Topworth Steel), is also part of the list.

Monnet spokesperson further said 450 hectares of the block, out of total 650 hectares, is overlapping with a block of South Eastern Coalfields Ltd (SECL) and SECL needs to surrender title of the land and transfer it to Monnet.

He also accused the Coal Ministry of violating its own conditions (clause 17 of General Condition of Allocation), saying that the clause “clearly stipulates that any delay in transferring the land by a government company to the coal block allocatee can be claimed as grace period’’.

“If IMG has recommended for de-allocation, then they are violating the published guidelines of MoC,” the spokesperson said, adding that Monnet can start development of the block immediately as it needs “to acquire only 5 acre of land for making an entry’’.

According to JSPL spokesperson, the company has made four attempts for carrying out exploration at Amarkonda Murgadangal block since April 2009 but could not do it due to “large amount of extremist/Naxal activities” and “illegal mining” supported by extremists/anti-social elements.

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Published on November 24, 2013
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