Pragmatic approach of government on coal blocks need of the hour: Ravi Uppal

Coal blocks Gare Palma IV/6 & Utkal B-1 were allocated for steel projects for which the company has invested over Rs. 30,000 crore.

February 12, 2015 11:48 IST | India Infoline News Service
In  a major relief to Jindal Steel & Power Ltd (JSPL), the Delhi High Court held that the  change of end use for Utkal B1, Utkal B2 and Gare IV/6 are quashed. Utkal B1 and Utkal B2 are directed to be demerged and taken off from the auction. The specified end use as also issue of their merger is to be reviewed in light of the observation made in the judgment before they are put up for auction again.

It may be recalled that JSPL had contested the change of end use of Utkal B1 coal block in Odisha and Gare Palma IV/6 in Chhattisgarh from steel to power.

In an interview with CNBC TV18, Ravi Uppal, MD & CEO, JSPL, said that Gare Palma IV/6 & Utkal B-1 were allocated for steel projects for which the company has invested over Rs. 30,000 crore, and they will continue production from Gare Palma till 31 March as per the order.

He added that they have requested the Government to take a pragmatic view as the company was running projects on imported coal and the steel plants will not be viable if there is no coal from these mines. Moreover, they are confident that there will not be any delay in the auction process. Also, till now no timeline is communicated with respect to the tech panel review.

Further, he said that task of managing power production can't be handled by only PSUs. The company is looking at bidding for all the mines company own currently and he pointed out that the bidders will have to think of liabilities while bidding.

The Delhi High Court's decision is being seen as an impediment in the auction of coal mines by the government. However, Piyush Goyal, Coal Minister and Anil Swarup, Coal Secretary have assured that coal auction will be as per the schedule. They rationalised that these coal blocks were not in the list of the first 23 blocks to be auctioned.

At 11:52 AM, the stock of the company is trading down 1.65% from the previous close at Rs. 148.60. 4.74 lakh shares have already traded hands at the BSE counter. 

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