The Central Bureau of Investigation has begun probing six more private mining and coal companies which are believed to have secured coal blocks wrongfully and by misrepresenting facts. A fresh round of first information reports is likely to be registered by month-end, government sources said.
The CBI is scrutinising the role of the six companies, some having been allotted coal blocks in Jharkhand, and also probing firms and people who were closely associated with Madhu Koda who had ruled the State with Congress support.
“Apart from looking at connivance of Coal Ministry officials and those on the Screening Committee,” the CBI would go into whether “undue benefits were passed on to government officials and whether the various companies made a quick buck, getting coalmines allocated and then selling them at a premium,” the sources said.
“When the CBI officials went through the documents submitted by these companies, those obtained from the Coal and Power Ministries and the presentations made before the Inter-Ministerial Group, they found a lot of discrepancies in the facts and financial accounts and transactions submitted by these firms. It is likely to move against these companies by month-end,” the sources said.
Meanwhile, the Coal Ministry is bracing itself to present its defence before the Public Accounts Committee against the figures given by the Comptroller and Auditor General. “The Coal Secretary and other officials had told CAG that before the constitutional authority finalised its report, it should hold a meeting with them in order to remove any misgivings. However, this opportunity was not given to us, leading to CAG projecting a loss of Rs. 1.86 lakh crore to the national exchequer,’’ a Ministry official said.
The Ministry is likely to appear before the PAC around September 14.