Govt rejects charges against PM in coal block allocation
New Delhi: Rejecting allegations against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in allocation of coal blocks, the government on Sunday said the allotment was done in an "equitable and fair" manner.
"The process of allocation of blocks was equitable, fair and just which is borne out of the fact that there has never been any serious allegation against the working of the screening committee. The move to introduce competitive bidding is to make the selection process demonstrably more transparent," the Coal Ministry said in a statement.
The clarification comes a day after Team Anna picked up portions of a draft CAG report to make charges against Singh when Coal Ministry was with him.
As per a preliminary assessment by the CAG, a loss of Rs 10.67 lakh crore was caused to the nation due to a coal scam and the issue led to uproar during the Budget session of Parliament.
The Coal Ministry said the Screening Committee was a broad based body with representation from state governments at the level of the Chief Secretaries, concerned ministries of the Central government and the coal companies. The move to introduce competitive bidding is to make the selection process demonstrably more transparent, it said.
Meanwhile, Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal told reporters in Kanpur that had coal blocks not been allocated, India would have lost precious foreign exchange in importing the commodity despite having it in abundance.
Asked specifically if he was clarifying Team Anna`s allegation, Jaiswal said he was not aware of any charges, "nor do we have to respond to allegations levelled by anyone".
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