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Corporate Nov 23, 2012

Law ministry to give opinion on NTPC’s deallocated coal mines

New Delhi: The coal ministry will take a call on giving back the de-allocated coal blocks of NTPC after consultations with the law ministry.

The development comes close on the heels of Power Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia asking Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal to reconsider the decision on deallocation of four coal blocks, including three allotted to NTPC.

Coal questions. Reuters

"The allocation of three mines of NTPC will be done after consultations with the law ministry," an official said.

NTPC has said the formal reallocation of three mines in Jharkhand-Chatti-Bariatu, Kerandari and Chatti-Bariatu (South)-"will be done immediately".

The decision to re-allocate the mines having an annual production capacity of 13 million tonnes (MT) comes at a time when the state-run NTPC is grappling with fuel shortages that are hurting its electricity generation.

The government cleared sale of its 9.5 percent stake in NTPC, a move that could fetch the exchequer as much as Rs 13,000 crore.

Further, the re-allocation of coal blocks would push higher the company's the overall valuation. This in turn would help the government to get higher returns from the proposed share sale, sources said.

The coal ministry had last year deallocated coal mines of NTPC for not developing them within the stipulated time frame.

Last month, Jaiswal had said that it was not possible to give back the deallocated mines to NTPC.

"But we have definitely assured it (NTPC) that we will give coal blocks on a priority basis in the new process which we have started," he had said.

PTI

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