New Delhi:  The government has formed an inter-ministerial group which would review the progress of coal blocks allocated to companies for captive use.

"An Inter-Ministerial Group (IMG) under the Chairmanship of Additional Secretary (Coal) ... has been constituted on June 21, 2012," Minister of State for Coal Pratik Prakash Bapu Patil said.

The IMG consists of representatives from the Ministries of Power, Steel, Law & Justice and Departments of Economic Affairs and Industrial Policy, the Minister said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.

"IMG ... would undertake periodic review and monitor the progress of allocated coal/lignite blocks and make recommendations on action to be taken, including de-allocation if required," he added.

Of the total 195 coal blocks allocated to both public and private firms, only 30 mines have begun production, the minister said in another written reply to Rajya Sabha.     

"The remaining coal blocks which have not started production so far, are in various stages of obtaining statutory clearances and mining lease, preparing mining plan, acquisition of land, procuring machinery and equipment etc for mining as well as end-use project," he said.

As per the prescribed guidelines, the minister said the responsibility of development of a coal block rests entirely with the company allocated coal blocks.

"In the terms and conditions of the allocation letters, it is categorically mentioned that in the event of willful delay in the development of coal blocks and in setting up of end use project, the government will take appropriate action to deallocate the said block," he said.

(Agencies)

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