OST Business Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Dec 24:
After seeking an explanation from Odisha Power Generation Corporation (OPGC) for failing to develop the two coal blocks allocated to it, the Ministry of Coal (MoC) on Tuesday issued show-cause notices to eight companies including Aditya Birla Group’s Hindalco and sought clarifications from five others including Tata, JSW and Bhushan Steel.
MoC also rapped the Power Finance Corporation (PFC), the power ministry’s arm managing the bidding for Ultra Mega Power Projects (UMPPs), for the delay in development of three blocks allocated to it for the Odisha UMPP in 2006. The three blocks could not be developed as the bidding for the UMPP had to be deferred due to the framing of new bidding guidelines.
“You are called upon to show-cause why the block should not be de-allocated failing which it would be presumed that your company has no explanation to offer and action would be taken for de-allocation of the coal block,” the MoC said in its show-cause letter to Hindalco, Mahanadi Coalfields and Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC). The three firms were allocated Talabira II and III blocks in 2005.
It is to be noted that the CBI had registered an FIR against Aditya Birla chief Kumar Mangalam Birla and former coal secretary P C Parekh for alleged criminal conspiracy and abuse of official position in its allocation.
The ministry has cancelled licenses of 51 coal blocks over the past two years on the basis of recommendations of an inter-ministerial committee.