Government has issued show cause notices to 16 companies, including NTPC, JSW Steel, Hindalco, Vedanta and Nalco for delays in operating coal blocks.
Show cause notices are issued from time to time to companies which do not adhere to the timelines prescribed in their agreements for timely operationalisation of coal blocks or for non-achievement of targeted coal production.
"The Scrutiny Committee, in its 17th meeting held... recently has reviewed cases of 24 coal mines...Subsequent to the meeting of the Scrutiny Committee, further show cause notices were issued to 16 companies for 22 coal blocks," the Coal Ministry said in a statement.
While Vedanta and NTPC were issued notices for delays in production of three blocks each, Birla Corp Ltd and Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd were given show cause notices for two blocks each.
Other companies that were issued notices include Damodar Valley Corporation, West Bengal Power Development Corporation, B S Ispat Ltd, and Sunflag Iron and Steel Company Ltd.
The ministry has set up the Scrutiny Committee to consider the show cause notices and replies received from allocatees on case-to-case basis and recommend penalty in cases the delays are attributable to the companies.
The panel "recommended proportionate appropriation of performance security in four cases i.e Tenughat Vidyut Nigam Limited (Rajbar E&D), Topworth Urja & Metals Ltd (Marki Mangli-I), Ultratech Cements Ltd (Bicharpur) and National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (Talaipalli)...," it added.
The recommendations of the panel have been accepted by the Government and appropriation orders are being issued.
The coal ministry further said it expects 58 coal blocks to become operational in the ongoing fiscal. The mines are likely to produce around 138.28 million tonnes of coal as against the scheduled output of 203.67 million tonnes.