Coal mine contracts of 45 firms cancelled

The Coal Ministry has cancelled the mining leases of West Bengal Power Development Corporation, Monnet Ispat & Energy and state­run NTPC for delays in operationalizing coal blocks and missing production targets, Parliament was informed on Monday. The Ministry penalized a total of 45 companies for delays in commencing operations and missing production targets, according to the data provided by Coal and Mines Minister, Pralhad Josh.

The Coal Ministry has also slammed show cause notices on 107 companies for not adhering to the timeline. The companies include NALCO, Vedanta, BALCO, Hindalco Industries, JSW Steel, UltraTech Cement, Birla Corp, Adani Power, and Monnet Ispat & Energy. The Ministry of Coal had issued an amnesty scheme in May 2022, granting a one­time window to allottee government companies to surrender non­-operational coal mines without penalty, Joshi said.

Joshi said that since the launch of the commercial coal mining auction in June 2020, the auction of 47 coal mines has been successfully conducted. “Out of these 47 coal blocks, the auction of one coal mine was cancelled since the preferred bidder did not comply with the conditions, and vesting orders have been issued for 27 coal mines,” he added.

In accordance with the efficiency parameters specified in the CMDPA which are to be adhered to by the successful bidders, the time limit for obtaining the Mine Opening Permission is 66 months in the case of mines where a Geological Report is to be prepared and 51 months in the case of mines where GR is available, the Minister said.

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