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Bank guarantee of Jindalís coal block to be encashed
Three more coal blocks de-allocated 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 18
The Inter-Ministerial Group (IMG) on coal today recommended deduction of bank guarantee of two blocks, including Jitpur, given to Jindal Steel & Power Ltd (JSPL) in which Congress MP Naveen Jindal is Chairman-cum-Managing Director (CMD).

The amount of the bank guarantee to be encashed was not immediately known.

Sources in the Coal Ministry said the IMG has also recommended de-allocation of Macherkunda block given to Bihar Sponge.

The recommendations from the IMG, which met here to review the presentations made by the private companies owning the coal blocks over the status of development at the mines, came even as the government issued an official statement that three more blocks, as reported earlier, were being de-allocated.

The statement said, ďThe Government has de-allocated three more coal blocks on the recommendations of Inter-Ministerial Groupís review held on September 14 and 15Ē.

These blocks include, Gourangdih ABC Coal Block allotted to M/s Himachal EMTA Power Ltd. and M/s JSW Steel Ltd, Rawanwara North Coal Block allotted to SKS Ispat and Power Ltd and New Patrapara Coal Block allotted to M/s Bhushan Steel Ltd. and others.

Sources in the ministry said the IMG had asked for deducting bank guarantee of two others -- Jitpur, given to Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL) owned by Naveen Jindal, and Chitarpur, allotted to Corporate Ispat.

The panel has so far scrutinised 29 out of 58 cases to which show cause notices had been issued. It reviewed three cases today and will meet again tomorrow, sources said. The panel has so far scrutinised the replies furnished by 22 coal block allottees out of 29.

It earlier heard the coal block allottees, who were invited to make presentations from September 6-8, and also obtained updated status paper from Coal Controller/Ministry of Coal.

The notification for the de-allocation of the coal blocks issued today includes one associated with brother of Tourism Minister Subodh Kant Sahai.

Sahai, a senior Congress leader, had reportedly written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2007 recommending allocation of two coal blocks to SKS Ispat and Power in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. The Prime Minister was holding Coal portfolio at that time.

The IMG had on Saturday asked the government to de-allocate three coal blocks given to Coal blocks of SKS Ispat and Power Ltd (Rawanwara North) and Bhushan Steel Ltd (New Patrapara) and Gourangdih ABC block allocated to Sajjan Jindal-promoted JSW Steel Ltd and Himachal EMTA Power Ltd.

The IMG has so far recommended the de-allocation of seven blocks while recommending punitive action against 10 more.

Sahaiís role in allocation

* The de-allocation notification includes one associated with brother of Tourism Minister Subodh Kant Sahai

* Sahai, a senior Congress leader, had reportedly written to the PM in 2007 recommending allocation of two coal blocks to SKS Ispat and Power in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand

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