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Kolkata The inter-ministerial group on coal blocks will meet on November 5 and 6 to finalise the norms for allocation of 13 de-allocated coal blocks to private sector undertakings (PSUs), said coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal at the 38th Coal India (CIL) foundation day.

On further deallocation of coal blocks from the private sector, Jaiswal said the IMG has recommended deallocating of 13 more blocks and it has gone for the law ministry’s comments, which could come any time this week.

Mumbai The government intends to start its 2012-13 divestment plan by offloading a further 10% stake in the state-owned iron ore producer, National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC), through the offer for sale (OFS) mechanism for nearly R7,000 crore.

Even though the government had to defer its plans of diluting stake in other public sector entities, such as Steel Authority of India (SAIL) in 2011 and Rashtriya Ispat Nigam (RINL) in the recent past, due to valuation concerns, the NMDC follow-on public offer may not face such hurdles, say market experts.

New Delhi State-owned steelmaker SAIL on Thursday said it will expand its production capacity to 18 million tonne (mt) from existing 14 mt by the end of current financial year.

"Our Phase-I capacity expansion target is 24 mt. Of that, this year we will be starting two new blast furnaces, our total hot metal production capacity will go up to 18 MT by the end of the (financial) year," SAIL chairman CS Verma said.

The recent order of the Joda mining circle office to 10 miners, who are waiting for renewal of their mining leases, to restrict iron ore output only to the extent of their captive plant need until the completion of the lease renewal process, is likely to result in 27 million tonne (mt) production loss per year, trade estimates said.

The order follows a recent state government resolution that mines having value addition industry attached to it will be given priority at the time of renewal of mining leases.

In a blow to Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd (RINL), the Odisha government has refused allotment of iron ore mines in favour of the navratna PSU.

The state government has communicated its decision to the steel maker, citing its inability to allot iron ore mines since it has already decided to reserve all the balance mineral bearing areas in favour of its own PSU- Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC). “Your request for allotment/reservation of good iron ore blocks in Odisha in favour of RINL may not be considered as the state government through a resolution dated September 18, 2012 has decided to reserve the remaining area bearing iron ore for undertaking prospecting or mining operation through OMC”, B Behera, under secretary (steel & mines) wrote to RINL's chairman and managing director.

The Joda mining circle has sent notices to 10 mines under its jurisdiction to restrict their productions as per their captive needs until the renewal of their mining leases.

The order, issued in line with a recent resolution of the government, is likely affect productions of five mines which do not have any user industry to consume the mineral.

Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma today pulled up SAIL and RINL over their "unsatisfactory" performances and said the two public sector firms could have fared better if their expansion and modernisa

Nine private miners are likely to lose their mining leases in the state following a recent decision of the steel & mines department to cancel all applications for renewal of leases made between 1987 and 1994.

The department on Saturday had decided to bring such leases back to the fold of the state government against the backdrop of an ongoing probe into alleged large scale illegal mining activities in the state by the visiting M B Shah commission of enquiry.

LUCKNOW: The Uttar Pradesh government on Wednesday assured full support to upcoming power projects in the state provided all formalities -- environmental clearances and coal linkages -- are complet

New Delhi The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will further widen the scope of its investigations into the coal block allocation scam by looking into the role of officials of Central and state sector PSUs, including NTPC, SAIL and a host of state mineral development corporations.

These utilities had got allocation of captive coal blocks from the Centre between 1993 and 2009 under the special dispensation route for government companies.

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