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Middle East African mess sends a red alarm to be aware of religious nationalism!
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Arabian Spring turned to be unprecedented afro middle east mess in US foreign ploicy , diplomacy and corporate strategy. Imported US branded democracy boosted Islamic nationality so much so, that Muslim Brotherhod replaced the Taliban, which was also created by US corporate imperialism to ensure the war exercise for monopolistic agrression.The murder of the US ambassador to Libya is a shocking reminder to Barack Obama that helping to overthrow dictators does not guarantee stability in the region. George Bush, the Oil magnet turned US president launched the suicidal oil war, which is later translated in Arabian Spring. The situation in Africa and middle east, recently the Syria stand off send red alarm for Indian Free Market Economy rapidly Americanising India.The rise of civil society in India follows the same pattern as followed by Arabian spring to destroy indigenous political systme and democratic set up to import in Americanised version to launch a corporate war against the majority masses. As US policies boosted Taliban, al Quaeda and the latest Muslim Brotherhood to use Islamic Nationality in US interests, free market economy, corporate governance an civilsociety lead makes Indian Spring the best ever booster of Hindu Nationalism which has made thsi divided bleeding geopolitics a continuous holocaust zone where excluded, excommunicated communities are subjected to economic ethnic cleansin , displacement and deportation. The war in Africa and middle east has never been so far away. The first gulf war resulted in not only as the fall of regional super power Iraq and its leader saddam Hussain, it killed the socialist soviet challenge for ever and opened up major economies like China and India for US Companies.It must be noted that stating that the circulation of a large amount of cash in the economy leads to many problems, including corruption, Reserve Bank Deputy Governor H R Khan today said the central bank is focused on bringing down the cash component in the economy. Not to specify, the cash flow roots ni black money recyle all on the name of free foreign investment inflow for which the constitution and democratic set up have to be killed. The agenda of Arabian spring is no different from the Indian agenda, Not at all.The Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs on Thursday approved a hike in diesel price by Rs 5 per litre at a meeting at the Prime Minister's residence in New Delhi.On the second day of his yatra in poll-bound Gujarat, chief minister Narendra Modi today took a dig at his bete noire and Bihar counterpart Nitish Kumar and also dubbed the AICC as 'All India Coal Congress'.Mind you, the Hindutva protagonist known with Gujarat genocide is the projected face of Prime Minister of americanised India. So, we are going head on middle east way!
The impact of the Arab Spring concerns protests or attempts to organize growing protest movements that were inspired by or similar to the Arab Spring in the Arab-majority states of North Africa and the Middle East, according to commentators, organisers, and critics. These demonstrations and protest efforts have all been critical of the government in their respective countries, though they have ranged from calls for the incumbent government to make certain policy changes to attempts to bring down the current political system in its entirety. In some countries, protests have become large or widespread enough to effect change at the national level, as in Armenia, while in others, such as Djibouti, were swiftly suppressed.Protests considered to be inspired by the Arab Spring have taken place on every inhabited continent, with varying degrees of success and prominence. On 15 October 2011, the subsidiary "Occupy" and Indignants movements inspired protests in 950 cities in 82 countries.
It is quite an irony as industrial growth is zeroed down and growth rate in agriculture in an agrarian country is les than three percent, but the free market government tries to continue the false growth story without addressing the fundamental problems, without any fiscal policy whatsoever. Thus,the Full Planning Commission is all set to approve the 12th Plan document that seeks to raise the average annual economic growth during the five-year period ending March 2017 to 8.2 per cent from 7.9 per cent achieved in the previous Plan on Saturday.The meeting, which has been called by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, will also vet various other social sector targets relating to poverty alleviation, infant mortality, enrollment ratio and job creation.Besides other things, the 12th Plan seeks to achieve 4 per cent agriculture sector growth during the Plan period. The growth target for manufacturing sector has been pegged at 10 per cent.The total plan size has been proposed at Rs 47.7 lakh crore, 135 per cent more that the investments realised in the 11th Plan (2007-12).The meeting will be attended by regular Planning Commission members and key cabinet ministers.Once the document is approved by the full Plan panel, it will be vetted by the Union Cabinet and then placed before the National Development Council (NDC), the apex decision making body, for final approval.As regards poverty alleviation, the Commission proposed to bring down the poverty ratio by 10 percentage points during the Plan period. At present the poverty is around 30 per cent of the population.As per the document, states will be encouraged to set their own economic growth and social sector targets.The Commission has also proposed generation of five crore new jobs during the five year period in the non-farm sectors.It also seeks to increase investment in infrastructure sector to 9 per cent of the GDP by 2016-17.The other monitorable targets include reduction of aggregate technical and commercial losses in power sector to 20 per cent and electrification of all village during the five year policy period.The document proposes to create additional generation capacity of 30,000 MW in renewable energy segment during the 12th Plan period.
Hundreds of Yemeni demonstrators stormed the US embassy in Sanaa on Thursday in protest at a film they consider blasphemous to Islam, and security guards tried to hold them off by firing into the air.The attack followed Tuesday night's storming of the United States Consulate in Benghazi, where the ambassador and three other staff were killed. President Barack Obama said the perpetrators would be tracked down and ordered two destroyers to the Libyan coast, but there were fears protests would spread to other countries in the Muslim world.The protests were triggered by an obscure video made in the United States that portrayed the Prophet Mohammad in insulting terms.Angered by the anti-Islam film, protesters stormed the US consulate in the eastern city of Benghazi in Libya on Tuesday, killing American Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. There was similar attack on the US Embassy in the Egyptian capital Cairo on Tuesday night. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Thursday tried to distance the US government from a movie that has sparked protests throughout the Muslim world, calling it “disgusting and reprehensible” but also condemning violence in response to it.
Peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi arrived in Syria on Thursday on his first official trip aimed at ending nearly 18 months of violence as rebels advanced in Aleppo where at least 11 people were killed. International peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi arrived in Syria's capital on Thursday as state forces pounded its eastern outskirts to flush out rebels trying to retain a foothold in Damascus.Brahimi's mission is a challenging one as neither side in the rebellion against President Bashar al-Assad seems ready to put down arms. Nor does Brahimi enjoy the necessary support from divided world and Middle East powers.Opposition activists reported a fighter jet flying overhead and helicopter gunships firing down on suburbs that have housed insurgents struggling to topple Assad after the ouster of four other Arab autocrats in popular revolts over the past 18 months.
Witnesses in Sanaa said the demonstrators smashed windows of the security offices outside the embassy before breaking through the main gate of the heavily fortified compound in eastern Sanaa. Security guards opened fire.Film on al-Jazeera television showed demonstrators jumping up and down on the parapet of the building and scaling the walls.Yemen is fighting an al Qaeda-backed insurrection largely in the south of the country.
Libya said on Thursday it has made arrests and opened a probe into an attack on the US consulate in Benghazi that killed the American ambassador, amid speculation that Al-Qaeda rather than a frenzied mob was to blame.
Revolutions and bloody fighting have brought the peoples of the Arab Gulf countries closer to their leaderships, according to the Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
Speaking to Gulf News on the sidelines of a humanitarian meeting in Kuwait, Abdul Latif Al Zayyani said he is against using the term “Arab Spring” to describe the series of revolutions in five Arab countries in a span of 20 months.
“First, we don’t use the term Arab Spring… Spring doesn’t lead to killing. It is [a season of] beautiful days and has the flowers smell, not blood smell and killing” he said in response to a question on whether GCC countries feel concerned of a possible spread of protests to the oil-rich region.
“On the contrary, we look at it as opportunities that further consolidated peoples’ ties with their leaders. Everybody is keen to preserve their achievements and work to build on them,” Al Zayyani said.
Meanwhile, India is likely to ban on Internet a controversial film deemed offensive to Islam that has sparked anti-US protests.The Home Ministry has forwarded a request of the Jammu and Kashmir government to block all webpages where the film is available to Director General of Computer Emergency Response Team India for urgent action.
"The DG CERT-In is looking into the matter and in all probability the webpages will be blocked soon," a Home Ministry official said today.
Government has already beefed up security at US embassy in New Delhi and four of its consulates - Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Hyderabad.The five US diplomatic missions are considered 'high risk' category buildings and are being provided round-the-clock security including monitoring of ingress and egress of every individual.
Con Coughlin reports quite rightly for The Telegraph :
For anyone who still clings to a naive belief that recent dramatic changes to the political landscape of the Middle East have made the world a safer place, the murder of the US Ambassador to Libya and three other embassy staff on the anniversary of the September 11 attacks should act as a brutal wake-up call.
For more than a year, politicians on both sides of the Atlantic have given their enthusiastic backing to the seismic changes taking place among the ruling elites who have dominated the region for decades. As dictator after dictator has been removed from power, either through force of arms or the overwhelming strength of popular discontent, Western leaders have universally given their support to what they mistakenly identified as an “Arab Spring” of Western-style pro-democracy movements sweeping aside despotism.
In Washington President Barack Obama has sought, from the start of his presidency, a “new beginning” for America’s problematic relationship with the Muslim world. He has given unqualified support to those campaigning for change in the major Arab capitals, actively encouraging the overthrow of one of Washington’s longest-serving allies, Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak, and backing the military campaign to overthrow Libya’s Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.
In London, a similarly proactive stance has been adopted by the Coalition. David Cameron and former French president Nicolas Sarkozy were at the forefront of last year’s Nato-led coalition to effect regime change in Tripoli, while William Hague regularly lectures his Foreign Office staff that it is important for Britain to be seen to support the reformers clamouring for change in the Middle East.
But as the brutal murders of US Ambassador Chris Stevens and his colleagues in the Libyan coastal city of Benghazi have demonstrated, the wave of change sweeping the region is not without risk. It is still too early to say for sure who was responsible for the attack on Mr Stevens’s convoy as he was being evacuated from the American consulate following an assault by a mob of anti-American protesters, but this tragic episode certainly brings into stark relief the dangerous currents that are swirling beneath the reform movements.
The New york Times reports:
While Americans were mourning the death of their ambassador to Libya and three of his embassy staff, many in the Middle East were lamenting the latest blow to their hopes for the so-called Arab Spring.
Fresh protests flared outside the U.S. embassy in Cairo overnight by Egyptian demonstrators apparently unchastened by the deaths of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and his three colleagues in neighboring Libya.
Other outbreaks of unrest, sparked by an obscure Internet video that was conceived to provoke Muslims, were reported across the Arab world, from Morocco to Yemen.
In Libya itself, however, people turned out to express their sorrow and regrets about a terrorist act they insisted did not represent their country or Islam. They carried banners denouncing both violence and insults to Islam.
The prospect of widening anti-American protest nevertheless prompted fears of a setback to the region’s democratization process and its relationship with the West.
Ashraf Khalil, a Cairo-based journalist, assessing the repercussions of the violence in Benghazi, wrote on Thursday, “The plausible worst-case scenario is that this becomes, for many Americans, a referendum and negative judgment on the Arab Spring.”
Mr. Khalil, a chronicler of the Egyptian revolution, wrote in Abu Dhabi’s The National that events in Syria could dampen enthusiasm for further intervention in the Syrian conflict.
“Given how things seem to be going in Libya, what is the point of helping to liberate a people who might turn on you within a year?” he asked.
A widespread theme in the Arab reaction was that extremists on both sides were responsible for the latest crisis. As The National headlined Mr. Khalil’s report: “U.S. ambassador’s death: first blood to the bigots on both sides.”
Paul Salem, director of the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, writing in the same newspaper, said, “Governments both in the Arab world and the United States need to work quickly to prevent this crisis from escalating.”
“Eleven years ago, Osama bin Laden succeeded in setting the course of Western-Muslim relations since,” he wrote, referring to the al-Qaeda attacks of September 11, 2001. “Let us hope that the militants of Benghazi — who represent only a minority of Libyans — do not end up dictating the course of Western-Muslim relations for years to come.”
Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood president, walking a fine line between placating his angry Islamic constituency and preserving his ties with the United States, condemned Tuesday’s violence and the offending film that sparked the protests.
By an accident of timing, he made his statement on Thursday during a visit to the European Union headquarters in Brussels that underlined his government’s desire to bolster relations with Europe.
It was not only secularists who spearheaded the region’s popular revolutions who were lamenting the latest turn of events. Egypt’s leaders are trying to channel unrest into peaceful protests at mosques on Friday rather that potentially violent confrontations in front of foreign missions.
Senior clerics at Cairo’s Al-Azhar mosque, a regional center of Islamic learning, also called for wisdom and reason in confronting any perceived offense to Islam. A panel headed by Grand Imam Ahmed El-Tayeb, said reactions to the video “should clarify Islamic facts and avoid blaming the innocent for the deeds of the guilty.”
Emad El Din Adeeb, an Egyptian writing in the Arabic Daily As-Sharq Al-Awsat before the full extent of Tuesday’s violence was known, said, “We alone, not others, have the responsibility to improve the negative mental stereotype about us.”
Security was increased at American embassies and consulates around the world Thursday following an attack that killed the U.S. ambassador in Libya, while the U.S. urged its citizens abroad to be vigilant.
With a beloved ambassador dead and anti-American turmoil in Arab nations spreading, the presidential candidates are challenging each other's foreign policy credentials and squaring off over how the United States handles its place in the world.
At a rally Thursday in northern Virginia, Romney was expected to argue that the upheaval abroad showed the need for more American strength on foreign and domestic matters. He was ready to link both themes while maintaining a focus on the economy by accusing President Barack Obama's policies toward China of driving away U.S. jobs, campaign aides said.
Romney has suggested that Obama is weak and didn't react quickly enough to condemn attacks on U.S. missions overseas. He was backed up Thursday by the party's last presidential nominee, Sen. John McCain, who said the president's "feckless foreign policy" has weakened America.
Democrats have responded by suggesting that Romney is reckless and untested as a world leader, with Obama accusing him of having "a tendency to shoot first and aim later."
The campaign barbs came as protesters angered by an anti-Muslim film from a California filmmaker took to the streets and attacked a third U.S. mission this week. On Thursday, hundreds of demonstrators chanting "death to America" stormed the U.S. Embassy compound in Yemen's capital and burned the U.S. flag, replacing it with a black banner bearing Islam's declaration of faith — "There is no God but Allah."
Those protests followed attacks in first in Egypt, where scuffles persisted Thursday between police and protesters near the U.S. Embassy in Cairo. They then spread to Libya, leading to the death of American Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans at the U.S. consulate. The Obama administration is dispatching two warships to the Libyan coast, ready to respond to any mission ordered by the president, who vowed Wednesday that "justice will be done."
Romney responded by criticizing Obama for having "a hit-or-miss approach" on foreign policy and tried to blame the president for an early statement from the embassy in Cairo that criticized the film as protests were forming. Romney incorrectly said the statement came after the embassy's grounds had been breached and added that the president is responsible for the words that come from his diplomats around the world.
"They clearly sent mixed messages to the world," Romney told reporters while campaigning Wednesday in Florida. "The statement that came from the administration was a statement which is akin to an apology and I think was a severe miscalculation."
Obama responded to his rival in an interview with CBS News' "60 Minutes" later in the day. "It appears that Gov. Romney didn't have his facts right," Obama said. He added that as president "it's important for you to make sure that the statements you make are backed up by the facts, and that you've thought through the ramifications before you make them."
Congressional Democrats spoke in sync with the president and accused Romney of mishandling international affairs and trying to politicize a tragedy. Republicans were less unified — some questioned Romney's handling of national security measures and top GOP leaders in Congress did not echo his criticisms of the president. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said Obama "correctly tightened the security overseas." Asked about Romney's remarks, he declined to answer and walked toward his office in the Capitol.
But McCain agreed the embassy response was weak and accused Obama of compromising American influence around the world.
"I'd like to see the president of the United States speak up once for the 20,000 people that are being massacred in Syria," McCain told NBC's "Today" show.
Liz Cheney, who worked was a senior official at the State Department while her father was vice president, said in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece that Obama has weakened America on the economy and has "an even more dismal national security record."
"Apologizing for America, appeasing our enemies, abandoning our allies and slashing our military are the hallmarks of Mr. Obama's foreign policy," she wrote.
The unrest overseas abruptly shifted the campaign's focus from jobs and the economy to international affairs. That could benefit Obama, who is seen as weaker on economic issues but a leader on the world stage. An Associated Press-GfK poll taken before the party's nominating conventions found Obama, who ended the war in Iraq and led the killing of Osama bin Laden, with a big advantage as the stronger leader of the two candidates, 50 percent to 41 percent among registered voters. In an NBC/WSJ poll in August, 46 percent of registered voters said Obama would be a more "calm and steady leader in a crisis," while 34 percent said Romney would be better and 12 percent said both would be equally good. But the crisis could change Americans' view of Obama's leadership less than eight weeks before the election in a campaign that has remained close for months.
Economic concerns could play a more prominent role Thursday, when Romney appears at a rally in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C., and Obama campaigns in Colorado's Denver suburbs. Obama carried both states in 2008, but they remain up for grabs and heavily contested by both campaigns.
The Labor Department announced Thursday that rising gasoline costs drove up U.S. wholesale prices last month by the most in more than three years. The Federal Reserve also was expected to announce later in the day whether it plans to take new steps to jumpstart the U.S. economy. Many anticipate the Fed will launch a third round of bond purchases aimed at easing long-term interest rates and spurring borrowing and spending.
At home,the BSE Sensex rose just enough to mark a seventh consecutive gaining session and a seven-month closing high, as hopes for government reforms boosted banks, while technology shares gained on hopes for stimulus measures from the Federal Reserve.
A special cabinet panel is due to meet later in the evening, and may discuss raising prices of heavily subsidised fuels, while the issue of opening up the aviation sector for foreign direct investment will be discussed at a separate weekly cabinet meeting.
Policy reforms are seen as critical for a country facing ratings downgrades into sub-investment grade, due to rising fiscal imbalances and slowing growth.
Investors are also on hold for the Federal Reserve's meeting later in the day amid high hopes for a new asset-purchasing programme, an event that could boost demand for risk assets such as those in emerging markets.
The free market economy based on black money is showcased in recent scandals and scams. The anti corruption crusade is paritsan to target a specific section of political class whereas it has nothing to say against free market economy, economic reforms, americanisation, exclusion and excommunication. Rather the character of the crusade is quite a caste Hindu upurge to relaunch anti reservation movement with anti corruption brand equity which further boosts the polarisation favouring pro US Hindutva nationalism. Coalgate tells the story very well.Under attack over coal block allotments, government today decided to de-allocate four blocks and encash bank guarantees of three others belonging to private companies for failing to meet timelines on production and development of mines.De allocation would not wipe out the corpoate lobying neither governance default. It is the rather an attempt to defend the Prime Minister charged by the opposition. The opposition killed the parliamentary monsoon session to make way for decisive second generation reforms by passing the Parliament and the constitution.It has been as fixed match amongst the ruling hegemony elements of political class.Minster of State in the PMO V Narayansami today said Centre is examining demands for including coal block allocations made during AB Vajpayee-led NDA rule within purview of CBI probe.
But the resistance by the people continues despite political betrayal and corprate adventure as Taking their protest against the Kudankulam power plant to the sea route, hundreds of people today stood in the waters forming a human chain to demand halting of preparations for fuel loading into the reactor. The Coast Guard aircraft hovered over the sea and its ships kept a vigil off nearby Idinthakarai as the villagers, including women and children, from Kudankulam and nearby fishing hamlets walked into the sea for the show of strength.With black flags fluttering in the backdrop, the protesters said they were prepared to sacrifice their lives to protect their livelihood and ecology through the 'jal satyagraha', taking a leaf from a similar protest in Madhya Pradesh. The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to stay loading of fuel for nuclear power plant at Kudankulam but agreed to examine the risk associated to the project, saying safety of people living in its vicinity is of prime concern.
"Public safety is of prime importance. There are poor people living in the vicinity of the plant and they should know that there life would be protected," a bench of justices K.S. Radhakrishanan and Deepak Misra said while posting the matter for hearing on September 20.
The bench, which refused to stay the fuel loading after the centre assured the court that commissioning of the plant will take place at least two months, said it would go through the judgements of the Madras High Court and hear the matter.
"We are not against the plant, nor the petitioner but we want to see that recommendations of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) on the safety measures have been implemented," the bench said.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is expected to push for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in single brand retail at a crucial meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs (CCPA), slated to be held on Thursday evening.
According to sources, the Prime Minister also wants to push for FDI in insurance and pension.
The Prime Minister has to decide on diluting the 30 per cent cap in single brand retail. Many foreign firms like the IKEA are keen to open shops in the country, but they feel that the mandatory 30 per cent sourcing from local produce on an immediate basis is unrealistic.
The issues will be discussed among the UPA allies following which the CCPA will take a political call on whether these can be brought up as early as on Friday, when the Cabinet meeting is scheduled to happen.
The worry of the Prime Minister is that it should not be a repeat of last time when FDI in multi brand was given a push but was kept in abeyance because of the opposition from Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee.
The CCPA is also likely to consider a hike in fuel prices. While the Congress is opposed to a hike, both Finance Minister and Oil Minister are keen on going ahead with it.
Meanwhile, the government is getting ready to push for FDI in aviation as well with sources confirming that Mamata Banerjee has agreed to the proposal.
Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs is likely to discuss and clear FDI in aviation on Friday. The proposal will be sent to the Cabinet for approval some time in next week.
Sources add that Air India is likely to be excluded from the proposal.
The West Bengal Chief Minister had been opposing the proposal giving a jolt to the government's effort to revive the civil aviation sector.
With so many cash-strapped airlines struggling to survive in the market, the Indian civil aviation sector is seeing one of its worst phases.
Shares in United Breweries Group and its airline Kingfisher jumped on Thursday on hopes the Indian government may let foreign airlines invest in domestic carriers.
Investors believe such a move, likely to come up for cabinet discussion on Friday, could throw a lifeline to companies such as debt-laden Kingfisher, which is in desperate need of funds to implement a turnaround plan.
UB shares ended up 12.07 percent at 623.8 rupees while Kingfisher rose 5.36 percent to 10.02 rupees after trade minister Anand Sharma said a cabinet panel would review the matter. Low-cost airline SpiceJet climbed 4.59 percent.
Back to Coalgate!The government decision came shortly after an Inter- Ministerial Group (IMG) made such a recommendation after evaluating the performance of each of the cases in respect of factors like approval of mining plan, grant of environment clearance, status of forest clearance and land acquisition.
The IMG, in its meeting held yesterday, had deliberated upon the cases of five companies which were allocated eight coal blocks, a statement issued by the Coal Ministry said.
The statement noted that the IMG had recommended de-allocation of four blocks -- Bramhadih Block in Jharkhand allocated to Castron Mining Ltd in 1996, Chinora and Warora (southern part) blocks in Maharashtra given to Field Mining and Ispat Ltd in 2003, Lalgarh (North) block in Jharkhand allotted to DOMCO Smokeless Fuels Pvt Ltd in 2005.
The IMG also recommended deduction of Bank Guarantee (BG) in case of Marki Mangli-II, III and IV Blocks in Maharashtra allocated to Shri Virangana Steels Ltd, the statement said.
The Group also recommended that in the case of Utkal B2 Block in Odisha allocated to Monnet Ispat & Energy Ltd in 1999 "where there was substantial progress but no provision for BG, the allocattee may be asked to submit BG amounting to three years royalty within a period of one month from date of letter in this regard failing which the block may be deallocated", it said.
Sources said the BG in case of Shri Virangana Steel, now Topworth Urja and Metals Ltd, is Rs 2 crore, while that for Monnet Ispat is Rs 90 crore.
"Recommendations (of IMG) have been accepted by the government," the Ministry statement said.
The eight blocks are among 58, which are under scrutiny of the IMG. It has so far taken up the cases of 29 allocated to private companies.
While these eight blocks were reviewed yesterday, 10 more cases will be taken up tomorrow.
Sources said IMG has recommended de-allocation of blocks, mainly because the allocatees failed to set up end-use plants.
"The IMG would continue examination of remaining cases in its next meeting scheduled to be held on September 14, 2012 and will hold further meetings as may be required for completing recommendations," the statement said.
Commenting on the development, Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal said, "File (pertaining to coal blocks) came to me at 12 pm today...I immediately cleared it".
Answering a question which saw a design in the de-allocation decision because some of the blocks were allocated during the NDA rule, he said, "Please ask me the question after seeing the results of all these blocks".
Jaiswal said his ministry was empowered to take decision on the recommendations of the IMG and there was no need to seek Cabinet's permission for it.
Asked whether there was a possibility of the ministry accepting all the recommendations for cancellation, if any, he said that it was possible.
The private firms, whose coal blocks have been cancelled could not be reached for comments.
Spokesperson of Monnet Ispat and Energy, which has been asked to deposit bank guarantee, said, the company has "not received any official communication."
"We have made our representations to the IMG... All we would like to emphasise upon is we are a serious player and we have already gone ahead with lot of development on the block," the spokesperson added.
Sources said IMG has recommended that in case Monnet Ispat fails to start production by March 2013, its bank guarantee of Rs 90 crore would be forfeited and the block would be de-allocated.
Monnet Ispat was allocated Utkal B2 coal block in Odisha in 1999, which has an estimated reserves of 77 million tonnes (MT).
The official statement said IMG has been reviewing the developments of blocks on individual basis and also obtained a status paper from Coal Controller/Ministry of Coal.
This is the first recommendation by the IMG ever since the controversy over the allocation of coal blocks broke out with the CAG estimating undue benefits of Rs 1.86 lakh crore to private firms due to allocation of 57 mines sans auction.
IMG, headed by Additional Coal Secretary Zohra Chatterji, formed earlier this year, had sent out show-cause notices to 58 block allottees, including 20 mentioned in the CAG report, for furnishing the cause of delay in developing the mines.
The panel heard representations by 29 block allottees, all of whom are from the private sector, on September 6-8. The allottees had said delays in starting the production resulted due to lack of various clearances from different state governments.
Tata Steel, Reliance Power, JSW, Grasim Industries, Kesoram Industries, IST Steel & Power, SKS Ispat and Power, Bihar Sponge Iron, among others, had appeared before the IMG.
The remaining 29 coal blocks, which were given show-cause notices, are with public sector companies, including MMTC, Chhattisgarh Mineral Development Corporation and Jharkhand State Mineral Development Corporation.
Stating that the circulation of a large amount of cash in the economy leads to many problems, including corruption, Reserve Bank Deputy Governor H R Khan today said the central bank is focused on bringing down the cash component in the economy.
"We want that we should move towards a less cash society. There is a need for the predominant cash in the society to go down," Khan told reporters at the sidelines of a Punjab & Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank event here.
He said if the cash component in the society goes down, it will help solve a lot of problems like the rampant corruption, monetary policy transmission issues and cash management for banks at the operational level.
At present, the amount of cash circulating in the system is up to 14 percent of the GDP, which makes the country one of the highest markets that has cash circulation, he said, stressing on the need to bring down the ratio.
Only Japan has such high levels of cash, he said, without giving a target on the ratio.
The remarks come at a time when there is a widespread angst in the society over rampant corruption, with repeated reports from the statutory auditor on alleged corruption only doubting the credibility of the government.