New Delhi: Coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal said on Friday he did not “fully agree” with a report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) that alleged a Rs 1.86 trillion loss on account of allocation of blocks to private companies.
“The allocation process was fully transparent. The policy was right in every way,” Jaiswal said at a press conference. “The demand for coal was rising and it was necessary for the sake of economic growth to give away more coal blocks.”
Coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal.
But he also said that if any wrongdoing in the allocation process was found, action would be taken against the guilty.
“In the process of allocation (of blocks) the people who may have done anything wrong, (for that) the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is inquiring. If their wrongdoing is caught, there will be action against them,” he said.
Mint reported on 23 July that the CBI had zeroed in on 12 companies as part of its preliminary investigations into possible undue favours in the allocation process between 2006 and 2009.
The coal ministry allocated 195 blocks to a mix of large and small companies but most of them could not start production due to various reasons, ministry officials have said. While some of the companies are stuck at various stages of clearances, many have simply not had the funds or expertise to mine coal.