Shillong: In yet another meeting of the independent committee overseeing the auction of coal, headed by Justice (Retd) BP Katakey, held on Thursday, it was noted that five to six coke plant industries were able to provide documents confirming the sources of their coal.
Among the topics discussed in the meeting, one of the key agendas was centered around the audit of coke plants regarding their coal sources. Notices were dispatched to 19 industries, requiring the owners to specify where they had procured their coal or the origin of their raw materials for their coke oven plants.
The officials from the GST department of the Meghalaya government and the Department of Mining had diligently conducted an exhaustive exercise, for which the committee commended their unwavering efforts, acknowledging that it was an extensive and time-consuming process. Of the 16 notices issued to coke plants located in both West Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills, most had responded, while a few requested additional time.
An official from the independent committee reported that around 5 to 6 of these industries had their provided details aligning with the GST portal, as cross-verified through the GST payment records. The official clarified, “Because when you buy coal or sell coke, you have to pay GST, which is automatically reflected in the portal. Therefore, for approximately five industries, both their minimum production and coal sources have been verified. Among the 19, five have met the requirements, while the committee seeks further clarification from others, and some have requested extensions to respond.”
Another agenda under discussion pertained to the auction of the remaining coal inventory, which is in transit to various depots and is in accordance with government guidelines provided to the High Court. Coal India Limited has been tasked with auctioning the coal quantities in designated depots located in East Jaintia Hills, West Khasi Hills, South Garo Hills, and South West Khasi Hills. The committee anticipates that all matters will be concluded by the end of November, with lifting orders issued to successful bidders upon depositing the required amount.
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Lastly, the committee deliberated on the installation of smart check gates. The chairman conveyed that some of these gates have already been installed, while land acquisition remains a concern at other locations. Deputy commissioners have been called upon to assist, as the committee aims to allocate land for the installation of these smart check gates, known as the mineral tracking system with QR codes, in the coming months.
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