Don’t mislead nation, we haven’t allotted blocks since '09: Jaiswal
Coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal on Monday said no coal block has been allocated to any firm since he took over the reins of the ministry in 2009. He added only allotment letters were issued for those coal blocks that had already been allocated during the first term of the UPA government.
“We have only issued allotment letters for coal blocks already allocated during the tenure of UPA-I. Any Parliamentarian who alleges that coal blocks were allocated by the present government is misleading the country,” said Jaiswal.
The minister further explained that allocation letters for a couple of coal blocks were delayed because general elections were declared. “These allocation letters got issued only after UPA-II came to power in May 2009.”
In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the Bharatiya Janata Party MP, Hansraj Ahir had accused Jaiswal of allocating coal blocks to 35 private companies without mandatory sanction by the screening committee.
“There is no basis in these allegations. Our ministry has not allocated even 0.35 coal blocks since UPA-II came to power in 2009,” Jaiswal countered.
He added that the ministry continuously monitors the development of mining process in allocated coal blocks.
To stress upon his point, Jaiswal said that an Inter-Ministerial Group (IMG) is assessing the progress report of 57 coal blocks and based on IMG's recommendations the ministry may begin the process of de-allocation for these blocks.
The minister clarified that IMG’s assessment is not for the 57 coal blocks that have been put under scanner by the national auditor.