Rejecting finance minister P Chidambaram's zero-loss theory in coal allocation scam because no mining was done, BJP on Friday said his view was akin to telecom minister Kapil Sibal's repudiation of CAG's estimation of presumptive loss in allocation of 2G spectrum.
BJP chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said "it is strange" that Chidambaram is saying about Rs. 1.86 lakh crore loss in coal allocation case what Kapil Sibal had said on 2G spectrum allocation issue where CAG had estimated the notinal loss to the tune of Rs. 1.76 lakh crore.
"He (Chidambaram) has forgotten that it is a question of decision-making", Prasad said.
Chidambaram, at a press conference in New Delhi, said CAG's concept of presumptive loss was "flawed" and there was no loss because no mining has taken place as yet.
Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy addresses the media in New Delhi. PTI
"This presumptive loss (of Rs. 1.86 lakh crore projected by CAG in its report), I deeply regret to say, is so flawed...incisive articles by very eminent writers have pointed out these flaws.
"If coal is not mined, if it remains buried in mother earth, where is the loss. The loss can arise only once the coal is taken out of mother earth, mined and sold at unacceptable price or value. But if the coal is not mined, where is the loss," the finance minister said.
Countering Chidambaram's view , the BJP leader said even in cases where no mining was done the allotee gained as his worth in the market went up due to the blocks he owned.
Giving an example to drive home his point, Prasad said if a person was alloted a piece of prime land, his financial standing in the market would go up even if he did not put the property to any use.
This would help the person financially in any other venture that he undertakes, he added.
The coal block allottees, who did not do any mining, benefitted in a similar manner, Prasad said.
File photo of Union finance minister, P Chidambaram in Ahmedabad. AFP/Sam Panthaky
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