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Ministry asks Mukul Rohatgi: What will happen now after SC coal reset?

The coal ministry has sought the advice of the government’s chief legal official on issues arising from the Supreme Court’s decision to de-allocate coal mines like forfeiture of bank guarantees and title deeds of mines purchased by the companies.

The attorney general Mukul Rohatgi’s opinion is being sought on issues like bank guarantees imposed on the companies, the cancellation of mining leases and the right and title of the land purchased by the companies, official sources told IANS here Monday

“Depending on the advice of the attorney general, the ministry will take a view on an ordinance to deal with the implications of the Supreme Court order,” the source added.

The apex court last month cancelled 214 coal blocks allocated from 1993 to 2011, except four vested with the NTPC, SAIL and the Sasan Ultra Mega Power Project (UMPP).

An apex court bench granted six months’ breathing time to mining companies to wind up their operations in the coal blocks.

The court also imposed an additional levy of Rs.295 per tonne of coal extracted from exempted or operational mines.

The affected companies had submitted to the court that Rs.287,000 crore have been invested in 157 coal blocks and Rs.400,000 crore in end-use plants.

Banks will approach the Reserve Bank of India for restructuring coal assets after the Supreme Court order that may impact such assets’ quality, Financial Services Secretary GS Sandhu has said.

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