New Delhi: Almost all the eight coal block allottees who appeared before the inter-ministerial group to furnish reasons for the delay in developing mines today blamed states for procrastinating on giving clearances.

"They (coal block allottees) are mainly blaming states for delaying clearances inordinately for their projects. They are also pointing fingers at the forest department," an IMG member said.

"Some of the problems they have pointed out are genuine and some are not genuine," the member said declining to reveal his identity.

Private sector firms like ArcelorMittal, DB Power, Jindal Power and Steel, GVK, Tata Sponge Iron, Reliance Power and Bhushan Steel among others appeared before the panel on Friday.

The IMG, which had sent out show-cause notices to at least 25 block allottees for the delay in developing mines, has called them in the order of the mines' allotment.

Commencing a three-day exercise, the panel had on Thursday heard from 10 allottees the reasons for delay in developing their mines.

Asked whether any of the 18 blocks, reviewed by the IMG in the first two days, could be recommended for de-allocation by the panel, the member answered in the affirmative, but gave no further details.

When asked what, according to block allottees, are the reasons for the delay in developing mines, Panel Head Zohra Chatterji, said, "Different people have different problems."

The meeting of the panel is taking place in the backdrop of the CAG report, recently tabled in the Parliament, stated that undue benefits to the tune of Rs 1.86 lakh crore were extended to private firms on account of allocation of 57 mines to them.

The IMG comprising representatives from different Ministries may recommend cancellation of such blocks, which did not comply to the development norms.


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