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SC Decision on Coal Blocks to Ultimately Benefit Economy: Javadekar

The Supreme Court decision treating as illegal all coal block allocations since 1993 till 2010 will ultimately benefit the country's economy, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said today.

"Yesterday, Coal Minister Piyush Goyal has already given a reaction which echoes the feelings of the government.... The stand of the government is that we welcome that. Let us come to some finality of it. We expect some finality on it.

"Whatever the Supreme Court decides, once that is decided, it does not go into a limbo. The decision then can be carried out and the national economy will ultimately benefit once the decision is done. So we are waiting for the final verdict," Javadekar told reporters here.

The Supreme Court had yesterday held that all coal block allocations made since 1993 till 2010 before pre-auction era during previous NDA and UPA regimes have been done in an illegal manner by an "ad-hoc and casual" approach "without application of mind."

The apex court, which examined the allocation of 218 blocks, said, "Common good and public interest have, thus, suffered heavily" as "there was no fair and transparent procedure, all resulting in unfair distribution of the national wealth."

Welcoming the Supreme Court judgement on coal mines issue, Goyal had yesterday said it will request the apex court to expeditiously resolve the issues to help increase domestic availability and reduce dependence on imports.

The government is awaiting Supreme Court to deliver its final view on how the mines "illegally" allocated between 1993 and 2010 should be treated, Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal had told reporters.

A bench headed by Chief Justice R M Lodha also held that "no State Government or public sector undertakings of the State Governments are eligible for mining coal for commercial use."

The bench also clarified that there was no challenge laid before it for cancellation in respect of blocks where competitive bidding was held for the lowest tariff for power for Ultra Mega Power Projects (UMPPs) in accordance with the opinion given in Natural Resources Allocation Reference.

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PLACES: New Delhi
SECTION: National
OUTLOOK 26 August, 2014
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