Allocation of Coal Blocks



Allocation of Coal Blocks
            Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in its judgment dated 25.08.2014 and order dated 24.09.2014 passed in W.P.(Criminal) No.120 of 2012 and other connected matters has declared all allocations of the coal blocks made through Screening Committee and through Government Dispensation route since 1993 as illegal & arbitrary and has cancelled the allocation of 204 coal blocks out of 218 coal blocks (i.e. except Tasra coal block allocated to Steel Authority of India Ltd. and Pakri Barwadih coal block allocated to National Thermal Power Corporation and 12 coal blocks allocated for Ultra Mega Power Projects). In case of 42 coal blocks (37 producing and 05 likely to come under production), cancellation shall take effect from 31.03.2015. The Hon’ble Court has also imposed an additional levy of Rs.295/- per tonne on the total coal extracted since the commencement of production from the coal mine to be deposited with the Government within the prescribed time period.  As regards financial implication of the judgment on the coal sector, the total amount of additional levy payable by the allocatees of producing coal blocks for the coal produced/likely to be produced upto March, 2015 is estimated at Rs.10494.36 crores. This was stated by Sh. Piyush Goyal, (Minister of state for Power, Coal & New and Renewable Energy (Independent Charge) in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha today.

            The year-wise details of 204 cancelled coal blocks is given below:-

Year of Allocation
No. of Coal Blocks
1993
01
1994
01
1995
01
1996
05
1997
Nil
1998
04
1999
03
2000
01
2001
02
2002
01
2003
21
2004
04
2005
24
2006
47
2007
51
2008
23
2009
13
2010
NIL
2011
02
Total
204


            Coal blocks allocated were of the coking as well as non-coking category both with quality of coal ranging from A to G grade. The category (grade) of coal in a block can be ascertained only after detailed exploration has been carried out.  Further, a block may contain coal of more than one grade.  As such, complete data of grades of coal in respect of all cancelled coal blocks is not available.  325.507 million tonnes (Provisional) of coal has been mined from 37 producing coal mines (which have now been cancelled) since commencement of production till October, 2014.

            The Minister further stated that as the Hon’ble Supreme Court has allowed coal production from the producing coal blocks till 31st March, 2015, there is no disruption in production of coal at present.  For management and reallocation of cancelled coal blocks, Government has promulgated ‘the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Ordinance, 2014’ on 21.10.2014 to ensure smooth transfer of rights, title and interest in the mines along with its land and other associated mining infrastructure to the new allottees to be selected through an auction or allotment to government company, as the case may be.  The allocation of coal blocks would now be made in pursuance of the provisions of the Ordinance and Rules made there under in a time bound manner to ensure that there is no disruption in supply of coal, the Minister added.

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