New Delhi (TIP): The inter ministerial group (IMG) on coal blocks allocation has recommended de-allocation of four mines allotted to private firms and encashment of bank guarantee of three others on the ground of non-development of mines within a prescribed time.

“The IMG, which reviewed eight cases on Sept 12 has recommended deallocation of four coal blocks including two alloted to private firm Field Mining and Ispat,” a coal ministry official, who did not wish to be named, said. Field Mining and Ispat was slapped a show cause along with 58 others for delay in development of Chinora and Warora Southern Part coal blocks in Maharashtra.

This is the first recommendation by the IMG ever since controversy broke out over the allocation of coal blocks after the recent CAG report that criticised the government for allotting them in a non-transparent manner. The IMG had scrutinised eight cases on Wednesday in a marathon six-hour meeting out of a total 29 reviewed by it last week in the context of why production had not started within the prescribed timeline. It had heard representatives of 29 coal block allottees on September 6, 7 and 8 out of of 58 allocations under focus.

Meanwhile, coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal told reporters that he was hopeful that the IMG would submit its first report by September 17, two days after the September 15 deadline set earlier. “I am hopeful that IMG will submit its report by September 17,” Jaiswal said.

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