Bhubaneswar: Demanding a CBI probe into the role of Odisha government in coal block allocations to private companies, senior BJP leader Bijay Mohapatra on Saturday alleged that the BJD government d

Despite the near-term uncertainties, analysts remain positive on long-term prospects and robust business model

New Delhi The inter-ministerial group (IMG) on Tuesday recommended the cancellation of one more coal block, Macherkunda, and deduction of bank guarantees in case of another two — Jitpur and Chitarpur — for delay in development work. The Macherkunda block belongs to Bihar Sponge Iron while Jitpur and Chitarpur are allocated to Jindal Steel and Power and Corporate Ispat.

The Centre has revoked allocation of three more coal blocks – New Patrapara coal block of Bhushan Steel, Rawanwara North of SKS Ispat and Power and Gourangdih ABC, which is jointly allocated to Himachal EMTA Power and JSW Steel – taking the total number of cancelled blocks to seven.

Three more coal blocks de-allocated.

The coal ministry on Tuesday approved the deallocation of captive blocks held by SKS Ispat and Bhushan Steel, based on the recommendations of an inter-ministerial group (IMG) reviewing progress on the blocks. At a meeting on Tuesday, the panel also recommended deallocating a block being developed by Bihar Sponge.

SKS Ispat’s Rawanwara North block and Bhushan Steel’s New Patrapara block, deallocated on Tuesday by Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal, together hold reserves of 1,216 mt. SKS Ispat was recently in news after its name figured in the alleged allocation scam. Tourism Minister Subodh Kant Sahay’s brother Sudhir Kant Sahay is an executive director in the company.

The Planning Commission on Tuesday pitched for privatisation of coal mining, saying the government should have a consistent policy for the energy sector, as third-party sale is allowed for petroleum and natural gas in the country.

“To my mind, the logic is very clear that it should be allowed (for coal),” Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia told reporters on the sidelines of the SKOCH Summit in New Delhi.

State-run Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd said the ongoing controversy over coal block allocation for power plants will not have any impact on the engineering major’s order book or operations.

Then power minister Sushilkumar Shinde pushed for Bhushan Energy getting 50% of the reserves

Naveen Jindal-promoted Jindal Steel and Power Ltd and Gagan Sponge Iron got the Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block in 2007, despite Sushilkumar Shinde, then power minister, pushing the case of Bhushan Energy for the right to 50 per cent of the reserves. Shinde’s recommendations were sent to none other than Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) has been accused of allocating over 1.86 lakh hectares of forest land for mining without the consent of gram sabhas as has been made mandatory under the Forest Rights Act.

In all, 1,82,389 hectares of forest land was diverted by the environment ministry between January 2008 and August 2011. The Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) headed by T. Chatterjee, secretary of MoEF, has recommended diversion of four additional projects located in prime forest land in 2012. This includes 151,762 hectares for the Lara Super Thermal Power Plant in the Raigarh district of Chattisgarh and 766,393 hectares of forest land for the Talaipall Coal Mining Project in the Raigarh and Dharmajaigarh forest divisions of Chattisgarh.

The mineral-rich state of Orissa, once a magnet for big-ticket investments, is now a deadlocked destination for projects worth thousands of crores.