The BJP on Monday demanded a Supreme Court-monitored inquiry and a CAG audit into the allocation of 73 coal fields to private players by the UPA government between 2006 and 2009, when a Bill to mandate auctioning of coal fields was pending.
Alleging that ‘hasty’ allocation translated into a scam of Rs85,000 crore, BJP MP Hansraj Ahir said at a press conference, “The government introduced the Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill in 2006, which proposed auction of free allotment on first-come-first-served-user basis. And the government, which should have stopped the allotments till the successful passage of the Bill, surreptitiously gifted coal blocks to the private parties in the interregnum. The Bill was finally cleared by the Parliament in 2010.”
Pointing out that the Prime Minister was Coal Minister at that time, the BJP MP said, “BJP demands explanation from the Prime Minister about this loot of precious natural resources, as the culpability of the Prime Minister is clearly established."
"The government also changed the meaning of captive capacity to suit those who wanted coal blocks without them being the present users of coal," Ahir said.
“Since 1993, it was decided that blocks would be allotted to the users, i.e., power, cement and steel manufacturers. Since 2006, this was changed for 'intended users' who don't have any capacity at present, but have even a plan merely on paper.”
“In 2G, when the allottees sold part of their equity at exorbitant prices, it was proved that the 2G spectrum was allotted lower than the market price. Similar evidence is available in this scam, too,” he claimed.
“Many of the allottees have sold their allotted coal blocks to other companies at a hefty premium. Only 2 out of these 143 companies' allotments have actually started production. BJP demands immediate cancellation of nearly 90 private companies' coal blocks whose time limit for commencement of production has lapsed.”