CAG reports creating suspicion, distrust: Assocham

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) report on coal block allocation in which it has indicated a Rs.1.85 lakh crore (USD 37 billion) loss to the exchequer is creating an environment of suspicion and distrust in the country, an industry association said Tuesday.

Last Updated: Aug 28, 2012, 16:23 PM IST

New Delhi: The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) report on coal block allocation in which it has indicated a Rs.1.85 lakh crore (USD 37 billion) loss to the exchequer is creating an environment of suspicion and distrust in the country, an industry association said Tuesday.

In an advertisement published in leading newspapers, the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham) said it was "deeply concerned over the environment of suspicion and distrust" created by the CAG's three reports on coal block allocation, implementation of public private partnership in the Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi, and special purpose vehicles for ultra mega power projects.

"Assocham appeals to all stakeholders to desist from putting emotions over discretion in national interest," the industry organisation said.

India's official auditor CAG recently claimed that lack of transparency in the allocation of coal blocks to private players resulted in the presumptive loss of a whopping Rs.1.86 lakh crore (USD 37 billion) to the exchequer.

Assocham said the CAG's conclusion over the 57 coal blocks allotment appears to have been arrived at without taking all facts into consideration.

The chamber pointed out that only one of the 57 coal blocks has gone into production.

"Several of the blocks were allocated to power, steel and cement companies for captive use. If the blocks were auctioned, the cost of these blocks would have pushed up the sale price of power, steel and cement," it said.

"When the government should encourage private sector investment and remove constraints to it, the CAG reports by way of erroneous conclusion have made any liberal reform a political risk," Assocham said.

IANS