The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has demanded a high-level inquiry into the coal blocks allocation that would have within its purview the role of the Prime Minister’s Office too.

“All those found responsible for wrongdoing and causing a loss to the exchequer should be proceeded against. In the meantime, the coal blocks allocation to private companies, made in an irregular fashion, and allocations to those who violated the terms and conditions should be cancelled forthwith,” said a statement issued at the end of a two-day Polit Bureau meeting here on Sunday.

The state held the coal reserves in public trust and it should not be featured as a means of maximising revenue or enabling windfall profits for private companies. The CPI(M) was resolutely opposed to privatisation of the coal sector, it said.

“The present arrangement of assigning coal blocks to private companies for mining for certain end-use should be stopped. Allocation for the private sector power and steel plants should be done through the Coal India Ltd. Blocks allotted for such enterprises should be mined by it and its subsidiaries. In the States, state-run mining corporations can be involved in the process. The rights of the coal-bearing States have to be safeguarded while the production of coal and its allocation for the entire country should be done in a planned manner,” the Polit Bureau said.

Assam situation

The meeting also discussed the situation in the Bodo Territorial Area Districts (BTAD) area in Assam since the recent clashes. Even today, 2.4 lakh people were living in relief camps. The administration should provide adequate security to help them return to their homes.

Condemning the efforts by extremist forces to further the communal and ethnic polarisation in the State, the Polit Bureau said the National Register of Indian Citizens (NRIC) should be updated at the earliest on the basis of the 1971 voter list and photo identity cards distributed to all.

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