PM should answer why coal blocks were not auctioned: Yechury
Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Sitaram Yechury said on Thursday that the CAG report showed that "crony capitalism of the worst order" was being practiced by the UPA government and demanded that the Prime Minister answer why the auction process for coal allocation was not adopted.
Addressing media persons here, the CPI-M politburo member said the government auditor's report presented to Parliament shows that "crony capitalism of the worst order is being practiced by this Manmohan Singh government".
He termed as a "specious plea", the government maintaining that five state governments had opposed auctioning of coal blocks.
"The fact is that when the Prime Minister was holding the coal portfolio, the states said that since state electricity boards have to provide electricity to people, coal required for them should be set aside and the rest should be put through the competitive bidding process. But the government chose not to do that."
He said that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should answer in Parliament why the transparent process of bidding was not implemented.
Yechury said those responsible for the loss to the exchequer should be pinpointed and action should be taken against them.
The government auditor's report has said that lack of transparency in allocation of coal blocks to private players had resulted in a loss of a whopping Rs. 1.85 lakh crore ($37 billion) to the exchequer.