Government allocates 116 coal blocks to CIL, reserves 54 for core sector captive use

The government has moved to boost coal production in the country through new mining leases at a time when the sole producer, Coal India Ltd (CIL), is facing flak over its inability to meet rising demand for the fuel in the country.

The government has allocated 116 new coal blocks to help Coal India Ltd (CIL) expand production capacity so as to meet the rising demand for the fuel in the country.

CIL had sought clearance for 138 blocks but the coal ministry is reported to have asked the PSU to recast its expansion plans.

The government, meanwhile, has identified 54 coal blocks for industries like power, steel and cement to be allocated through auction.

The news comes after CIL cancelled preliminary supply pacts with as many as 60 captive power plants and independent producers, including Tatas, Essars and Bhushans, alleging non-compliance of norms.

"Authorisation of LoAs (letter of assurances) have been cancelled/withdrawn for non-submission of CG (commitment guarantee) within the stipulated period," CIL said in a release.