The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is conducting a preliminary probe into irregularities in the allocation of coal blocks during 2006-2009, is yet to receive key files from four central ministries.
Coal, power, cement and the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion of the Commerce and Industry ministry have to furnish
information on 1, 400 applicant private firms.
“For the last three weeks, we are waiting for crucial files which will reveal the entire process through which the allocations happened, including how applications from private firms were processed,” said a CBI source. The 1,400 companies had applied for the allocation of as many as 64 coal blocks.
The source, however, clarified that the agency has ruled out any ‘deliberate’ delay. Apart from the central ministries, the CBI has also sought details from several coal-producing states.
“We have received a lot of other important files from the ministries, which we are analysing and the agency hopes to complete its preliminary inquiry within two months,” said the source.
The CBI, meanwhile, is likely to quiz members of the inter-ministerial body, screening committee, which was part of the allocation process and was chaired by the coal secretary. The purpose of the examination would be to understand issues involved in the allocation of coal blocks, including those related to policy and implementation.
The screening committee is supposed to have decided on the eligibility of applicants through their exhaustive examination. The committee includes secretaries from nine ministries, heads of various public sector undertakings and chief secretaries of coal-producing states.