NEW DELHI: The government has initiated an enquiry against Naveen Jindal-led Jindal Steel & Power Ltd after allegations that the company is selling coal from its captive blocks in Chhattisgarh.

The coal ministry has formed an interministerial committee headed by Advisor coal and comprising members from power and steel ministries to probe misuse of coal by Jindal Steel & Power from its four blocks in Chhattisgarh.

Shares of the company were trading at Rs 223.50, down 8.19%, on the Bombay Stock Exchange at 1320 hrs. A top coal ministry official said the probe has been initiated after complaints from several sections of society alleging illegal sale of coal in Chhattisgarh by the group. Jindal Power & Steel Ltd refuted the charges.

“The coal from all our captive mines are used in respective end use plants. There is no diversion of any coal from any mine whatsoever. The allegations are completely baseless,” company’s director, external affairs Manu Kapoor said.

The company owns mining licences for nine coal blocks with about 2,600 million tonnes of reserves of which four – Gare Palma IV/1, Gare Palma IV/2, Gare Palma IV/3 and Gare Palma IV/6 are in Chhattisgarh.

The four blocks being investigated hold 526 million tonne reserves and have been allocated for specific sponge iron and power projects. “Use of coal for any other purpose or its sale by a private captive coal block is illegal under the Coal Mines Nationalisation Act, 1973.

The inter-ministerial committee will assess year-wise production and utilisation of coal from the four coal blocks. The report is likely to be submitted by the inter-ministerial committee to the coal ministry in the next two months,” the coal ministry official said. On June 11, the Central Bureau of Investigation on Tuesday booked Jindal, a Member of Parliament, his company Jindal Steel & Power Ltd for alleged misrepresentation of facts to secure coal blocks.

The agency also filed first information report against former minister of state for coal Dasari Rao for favouring Jindal in giving a coal block.Courtesy: The Economic Times

Advertisements