Can Reliance Power be allowed to mortgage its coal blocks as collateral for a Rs 14,500-crore loan? The Coal Ministry under Piyush Goyal said no, underlining this would “vitiate the bid document and bidding process”. A week later, the Power Ministry, also under Goyal, said it didn’t share the Coal Ministry’s view.
With Coal and Power sticking to their positions, Goyal widened the debate to consider if all captive power projects, not just Reliance, could be allowed to use coal mines as collateral — last Tuesday, the Mines portfolio was also handed to him in the reshuffle of the Council of Ministers.
In the first week of June, Goyal directed “whether UMPP (ultra mega power project) or otherwise, the mortgage of mines/ mining lease and whether bidding condition permit, it may be put up to an IMC (inter-ministerial committee) of Power, Coal, Banking and Law under the chairmanship of Power and give its recommendations within 30 days.” Joe Pavelski Jersey