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Government not to review its decision on surplus coal: Salman Khurshid

New Delhi , Sun, 29 Apr 2012 ANI

New Delhi, Apr 29 (ANI): Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid has said that the Group of Ministers (GoM) have agreed to abide by the decision not to review the granting of permission to Reliance Power to use surplus coal from the Sasan UMPP mines for the development of other projects after taking legal opinion from Attorney General, G.E.Vahanvati.

"No, see the point is not, the Attorney General only gives an opinion in principle. The opinion in principle, frankly, is only about what is the concept of surplus coal and you know these are issues that you have to decide at any given time and this was decided by the GoM in 2008. We can't review decisions of the past, but we can certainly look at implications of those decisions in changing circumstances," Khurshid told media here.

"As far as issue of surplus coal is concerned, given the conditions that were applied at that time, the decision that was taken that time, we had to interpret what surplus coal means and how surplus coal can be utilised. On that, the Attorney General had given us an opinion that surplus coal is because of a series of conditions that is available after satisfying the needs of a UMPP," he added.

Khurshid further said that a policy has been recommended with an aim to avoid ambiguity.

"In subsequent developments that take place, you can't keep changing decisions of the past. For future, of course he has recommended that the policy can be made comprehensive so that instead of having a little bit in coal, little bit in power, little bit elsewhere, put it together in a comprehensive way so that in future there is no ambiguity," he said.

He further said that they would abide by the opinion given by the Attorney General, but a draft policy would definitely be formulated for the future course of action.

"There is obviously an attempt to a draft policy to look forward at what needs to be done in the future but the decisions taken in the past were validly taken on the basis of the extant policy, instructions and guidelines available at that time is what the Attorney General has given us an opinion on and obviously, we will go by the opinion," he added.

In 2008, the Group of Ministers had given permission to Reliance Power transfer excess coal from Sasan blocks to a different project in Chitrangi.

The Attorney General has advised the government that if it wants to revoke the permission given to Reliance Power to divert surplus coal from mines attached to the Sasan power project, it will have to show that the company violated the terms under which it was allowed to use that coal for another project.

Reliance Power got the Sasan UNPP project after bidding. The company was allotted several mines in Madhya Pradesh so that it could undertake development of the various projects. (ANI)


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