Coal Minister, Secretary accountable for ‘missing’ Coalgate files: Sharad Yadav
New Delhi: Janata Dal-United (JD-U) leader Sharad Yadav on Sunday hit out at the Coal Ministry for the ‘missing’ files of the coal allocation scam, and said that it was the responsibility of the Coal Minister and the Secretary and added that the Central Government must take immediate action against them.
“It was the responsibility of Coal Minister and the Secretary and immediate action must be taken against them. There should be an urgent investigation.
Instead of retrieving the files, the officials who are accountable, are informing the country that the files are lost. What will the country do if the files are lost? We will raise this issue in the Parliament. The two people responsible should be evicted immediately,” he said. Earlier, Union Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal on Saturday confirmed that few files related to the coal allocation scam were missing, saying that copies of them are being retrieved.
"It``s true that some files from 1993 to 2004 are missing. We are trying to get the copies of those files ready," Jaiswal said. Jaiswal told the media that the Central Mine Planning and Design Institute Limited ( CMPDI), Ministry of Steel and Ministry of Cement have also been asked to return the files if they have them.
He added that the Coal Ministry has given 768 files to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the investigation was still in process. The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report on coal block allocation stated that nearly 150 coalfields were allotted to private and state-run firms without transparency and objectivity between 2005 and 2009.
The BJP has held Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh responsible and demanded his resignation, for what has been estimated as loss of Rs 1.86 lakh crores to the national exchequer by the CAG in coal block allocation.
The CAG report does not indict the Prime Minister or his office, but the BJP is emphasising that the Prime Minister held direct charge of the Coal Ministry for the years under scrutiny. However, the Prime Minister had rejected the CAG``s observations as "misleading" and "flawed", and blamed the opposition parties for thwarting the efforts of his government to bring a policy of competitive bidding.
Dr Singh also ruled out any possibility of quitting the top post despite the BJP firm on its demand for his resignation over the coal blocks allocation issue.
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