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Jaiswal refutes team Anna charges on coal blocks allocation

Jaiswal said there was no scam in allocation of coal blocks and his deptt was not aware of any CAG report on the issue, refuting charges by Team Anna.

Bhubaneshwar: In a strong rebuttal to charges by team Anna, Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal on Friday said there was no scam in allocation of coal blocks and his department was not aware of any CAG report on the issue.

"There is no CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General) report with me...There is no scam in allocation of coal blocks," Jaiswal told reporters.

He said the blocks were allocated (to the companies both in the public and private sector) to provide subsidised power to the people in the last 15 years.

Asked to comment on charges by team Anna that there was a scam in coal block allocations, Jaiswal said, "There is no scam. Anybody can level any charges against anyone.... There is democracy in the country."

He also denied there was any windfall gain of Rs 10.6 lakh crore for the companies which received the mines, as mentioned in a draft CAG report.

Team Anna on Saturday had alleged a scam during 2006 and 2009 when the coal portfolio was under the direct charge of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who has already thrashed these allegations.

Meanwhile in Ghaziabad, Arvind Kejriwal, a key member of the civil society group, demanded an independent probe by a panel of three "honest" retired judges and asked why the PM is afraid of a probe if he is sure that he has not done anything wrong.

Jaiswal said the need to allocate blocks during the last 10 years was felt as Coal India alone could not have catered to the growing needs of the nation.

He is visiting Orissa to evaluate the performance of Mahanadi Coalfields (MCL), a Coal India subsidiary.
Describing the report on allocation of coal blocks without auction as illogical, Jaiswal asked by that yardstick even water used in the hydro projects should be charged.

Earlier, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had strongly rebutted the allegations of corruption against him and offered to quit public life and face any punishment if charges were proved.


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