Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi on Saturday dismissed as baseless All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam general secretary Jayalalithaa's allegations of huge losses being incurred by the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB) on account of inferior coal imported from Indonesia at a higher cost.

During 2009-2010, the cost of coal import of the TNEB was only around Rs. 1,000 crore. “Only [Ms] Jayalalithaa could say that there was a loss of Rs.1,000 crore when the value of coal import itself was Rs.1,000 crore,” Mr. Karunanidhi said in a statement.

As for the cost and quantity of the imported coal, he said the average cost was $90-95, not $120 as pointed out by Ms. Jayalalithaa. The quantity of coal imported was approximately two million tonnes whereas she said that over six million tonnes were being imported. Of the State's requirement of 15 million tonnes, Coal India, a Union government undertaking, supplied only 13 million tonnes. The import was being made through the Central enterprise MMTC (earlier known as Minerals and Metals Trading Corporation).

Pointing out that the present coal procurement practice was what was followed in 2005 when Ms Jayalalithaa was in power, Mr. Karunanidhi said the gross calorific value of imported coal was in the range of 6,000 GCV to 6,300 GCV while the Central Electricity Authority's stipulation was 6,000 GCV.

The Chief Minister accused the AIADMK leader of not implementing any power generation projects while in power and said this was why power shortage was being felt now.

She had issued a statement on the TNEB to make up for the forfeiture of deposit by her party in the Pennagaram by-election.

Referring to the report on the overtures made by the AIADMK to the Pattali Makkal Katchi for an alliance in the by-election, he said that it was not the quality of coal that had gone down. But, Ms Jayalalithaa, who had to give an explanation on the report, was lowering her standards by issuing a statement on the coal quality on the basis of, what she had called, reliable information.