The government today de-allocated two coal blocks, including one associated with brother of Tourism Minister Subodh Kant Sahai, even as the Inter-Ministerial Group recommended punitive action against a firm owned by Congress MP Naveen Jindal.
The government also decided to deduct bank guarantees of two companies -- Tata Sponge Iron and Bhushan Ltd -- for failure to develop blocks allocated to them in Odisha during the prescribed time frame, an official statement said.
A coal block allotted to SKS Ispat and Power Ltd, in which Sudhir Kumar Sahai, is honorary Director was
de-allocated by the government on the recommendation of IMG made last Saturday. Sudhir Kumar is the brother of the Tourism Minister, the statement said.
Significantly, Subodh Kant Sahai, senior Congress leader, had reportedly written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2007 recommending allocation of two coal blocks to SKS Ispat and Power in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. The Prime Minister was holding Coal portfolio at that time.
The other coal block approved for de-allocation by the government is New Patrapara in Odisha, given to Bhushan Steel in January 2007. The block has extractable reserves of 316 million tonnes (MT).
Besides, the government also accepted IMG recommendation to deduct bank guarantees of Radhikapur East coal block allotted to Tata Sponge Iron & others, and Bijahan Coal Block allotted to Bhushan Ltd.
Meanwhile, the IMG today recommended deduction of bank guarantee of two blocks including Jitpur, given to Jindal Steel & Power Ltd (JSPL) in which Congress MP Naveen Jindal is Chairman cum Managing Director (CMD).
The amount of the bank guarantee was not immediately known.