Congress steers clear of coal block controversy

Last Updated: Thursday, March 22, 2012 - 15:02

New Delhi: Congress on Thursday steered clear of
the issue of reported loss of Rs 10.7 lakh crore to the
exchequer due to coal allocations contending it was not proper
to comment on the draft CAG report which has not yet been
finalised.

"It is absolutely not right nor possible for me, nor am I
going to start commenting on your so called drafts," party
spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi told reporters outside
Parliament.

He said even the Comptroller and Auditor General has not
finalised or put forth any report as yet.

Asked if there was ever a competitive bidding of the coal
blocks, he said, "As far as I know, there has been a policy
....which is a policy continuing till today from 1993".

The CAG has reportedly estimated a Rs 10.6 lakh crore loss
to the exchequer on account of allotment of coal blocks during
2004 to 2009 without auction to 100 private and public sector
companies.

In a draft report on allotment of coal blocks that has
sparked a political uproar, the official auditor has estimated
a "windfall gain" of Rs 6.31 lakh crore (PSUs - Rs 3.37 lakh
crore and private parties - Rs 2.94 lakh crore) based on the
prices prevailing during the year of allocation on constant
cost and price basis and as on March 31, 2011.

The amount at current prices would now work out to Rs
10.67 lakh crore (PSUs - Rs 5.88 lakh crore and private
parties - Rs 4.79 lakh crore), the CAG said in the draft
report.

The CAG report comes more than a year after its report on
the allocation of scarce 2G telecom spectrum on
first-come-first-service basis in which it had estimated a
presumptive loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the exchequer.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, March 22, 2012 - 15:02

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