Another multi-crore scam under UPA, alleges BJP

The BJP demanded a Supreme Court-monitored probe into an alleged multi-crore scam related to allocation of coal blocks across the country by the UPA government.

Updated: May 23, 2011, 21:44 PM IST

New Delhi: The BJP on Monday demanded a
Supreme Court-monitored probe into an alleged multi-crore scam
related to allocation of coal blocks across the country by the
UPA government.

Accusing UPA government of allocating 73 coal blocks
across the country free of cost to 143 private companies
between 2006-09 when the Coal Ministry was with the Prime
Minister, BJP MP Hansraj Ahir claimed this had led to a loss
of Rs 85,000 Crore to the exchequer.

"Government introduced Mines and Minerals (Amendment)
Bill in 2006, which proposed auction in place of free
allotment on First-Cum-First-Served-User basis. The rush
followed and the government, which should have stopped the
allotments till the successful passage of the Bill, instead
surreptitiously gifted coal blocks to the private parties in
the interregnum," Ahir said.
"BJP demands an immediate Supreme Court-monitored
inquiry and a special audit by CAG, into the Coal Scam," BJP
spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said.

17 billion metric tonnes (BMT) of coal reserves worth
Rs 51 Lakh Crore were allotted in these four years before the
Bill was passed, Ahir said.

"51 companies were allotted coal blocks in 2006, 19
companies in 2007, 41 companies in 2008 and 32 companies in
2009. The going rate, as alleged by the business circles, is
Rs 50 per metric tonnes. Thus, more than Rs 85,000 crore
changed hands during the four-year coal scam," he said.
Shibu Soren had resigned as Coal Minister in 2006 and
the Prime Minister kept the porfolio with him till 2009 when
Sri Prakash Jaiswal was given the charge of the ministry.

"BJP demands explanation from the Prime Minister about
this loot of precious natural resources, as the culpability of
the Prime Minister is clearly established," Ahir said.

The main opposition will raise this issue in Parliament
during the forthcoming Monsoon session.

"The modus operandi of the 2G scam with this Coal scam
seems to be similar. Rules were bent, definitions were
changed, modalities were distorted to benefit the allottees.
Illegal gratification was obtained by using the aforementioned
Bill as an instrument," Ahir said.

Making further comparisons with the 2G scam, the BJP MP
said many of the allottees sold their allotted coal blocks to
other companies at a hefty premium.

"Only 2 out of these 143 companies` allotments have
actually started production. BJP demands immediate
cancellation of nearly 90 private companies coal blocks whose
time limit for commencement of production has lapsed," Ahir
said.

PTI

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