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Coal ministry seeks Attorney General's advice

DC CORRESPONDENT
Published Oct 7, 2014, 8:06 am IST
Updated Mar 30, 2019, 11:16 pm IST
Centre may bring out ordnance on SC verdict
New Delhi: The coal ministry is looking whether it will have to bring out an ordinance to deal with issues which have risen after Supreme Court cancelled coal mines. Coal ministry has sought  the attorney general’s (AG) opinion on this issue.
 
The government has to deal with issue of  forfeiting of bank guarantees of companies whose licences have been cancelled and title deeds of the land mines purchased by them after the Supreme court order. 
 
The coal ministry will take further action after receiving opinion from the A-G. The Supreme Court had cancelled most of the 218 coal blocks that the government had allocated between 1993 and 2010. 
 
The court observed that the allocation was arbitrary, illegal, and resulted in unfair distribution of national wealth. Rating agency Standard & Poor’s in a report had said that the recent cancellation of coal block allocations by the India’s highest court provides an opportunity for the government to reform the process of awarding coal mines in the country.
 
“The Supreme Court ruling could lead to an improved process for allocating coal mines and boost the supply of coal in a country that faces a severe shortage of the fuel,” it said.
 
Standard & Poor’s said that it believes a transparent allocation policy will play an important role in determining the profitability and strategy of coal consuming companies. 
 
“This, combined with a streamlined process for getting environmental clearances and approvals for land acquisition, would give these companies the confidence to invest and revive their long-pending projects,” it had added.
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