Indian Government will take decision in 6 weeks by moving forward to scrutinize 61 Coal blocks which was allocated to companies, as government informed Supreme Court on 15 Jan,2014.
Indian Government has initiated Coal mines development delay issues on fast track mode.This action taken by the Government may impact almost 40-41 Companies who are allocated with Coal blocks, but unsuccessful in receiving necessary clearances to begin mining activities; may face cancellation of blocks.
“There will be no further delays. Everything will be time bound now”, Attorney-General G E Vahanvati told the apex court in a hearing of alleged INR 1.86 -lakh-crore Coal block allocation scam.
The government has asked repeatedly by court to explain the huge delay in clearances and start of mining operations during the period. The Attorney-General replied that the process gets stuck over multiple clearances. The counsel argued that keeping the process pending was not in the public interest and cases would now be examined within a time frame.
From 1993, total 218 captive blocks have been allocated. Only 35 blocks have started producing Coal and rest development delayed. In last 2 years, Ministry of Coal has deallocated 51 blocks because of development delays including JSPL, Monnet Ispat, Birla Corporation, Dalmia Cements, Sunflag Iron & Steel and Rathi Udyog.
A Supreme Court Bench headed by R M Lodha received the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI’s) status report in the case on Wednesday and reiterated that no guidelines or criteria is appeared there to determine the Coal block allocations.
The Bench noted, among 118 applications for blocks, 44 were shortlisted and 20 were selected. Eight applications were rejected without giving any reason and 11 were recommended. “There is no sign that merit was examined,” the judges observed, asking the Government to explain the disparity.