Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal on Monday strongly refuted BJP MP Hansraj Ahir’s allegations of wrongdoing, saying they were false and baseless. No coal blocks were awarded during his tenure and only allotment letters issued to some firms, which were allocated mines by the UPA-I regime, he said.Mr. Jaiswal noted that the inter-Ministerial group (IMG) was looking into the allotment of the 58 coal blocks mentioned in the CAG report and there was a possibility that some of those who had violated norms or misrepresented facts would be de-allocated. “The IMG report is likely soon, maybe in the next one-two months.”
The IMG was set up to review the performance of coal blocks yet to start production. The Coal Ministry had moved the process of deduction of bank guarantee of 16 companies for delaying the development of the captive coal mines.
“I have said time and again that except the coal block allocations made in UPA-I, no allocations have been made. If any MP is making any such statement, then that MP is misleading the media as well as the nation,” Mr. Jaiswal said at a press conference here.
Mr. Ahir had reportedly alleged that Mr. Jaiswal sanctioned coal blocks to SKS Ispat & Power, CG Sponge Manufacturers Consortium Coalfield and API Ispat & Powertech in late 2011 without following the auction route despite the fact that rules for auctioning had come into effect in 2010.
The Minister said, “Only two coal blocks were there whose names are being taken. They were already approved during UPA-I, but the allocation letter was not issued because general elections were declared. Those allocation letters were issued when UPA-II came to power.”