New Delhi: An inter-ministerial panel on Monday decided to asks firms like Jindal Steel and Power, Tata Steel Essar Power, ArcelorMittal, Sterlite Energy and Reliance Power to explain delay in developing 58 coal blocks allotted to them for captive purposes.

The Inter-Ministerial Group (IMG) is likely to hear the companies who were allotted 58 blocks since 1998, on September 6, 7 and 8 for the final time before deciding on further course of action for unsatisfactory work, sources privy to the three-and-half-hour long meeting said.

The meet, sources said, finalised on modalities for forfeiture of bank guarantees of firms that have missed timelines for beginning production.

Bank guarantees would be deducted if firms have not achieved the required development.

Of the 58 blocks under review, 30 blocks were allocated to public sector firms and the rest 28 to private companies. The blocks given to private firms are estimated to hold 1,718 million tonnes of extractable coal reserves.

Sources said the IMG at its meeting today did not consider cancellation of any of the 58 blocks and a final decision would be taken only after hearing the allottees.

The Coal Ministry had earlier issued show cause notices to the allottees of these 58 blocks and an IMG was set up in July to consider action for not meeting timelines set for beginning production.


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