Minister for Coal Sriprakash Jaiswal on Thursday said the UPA government had followed a completely transparent process, including consultations with the State governments, for allocating coal mining blocks to private and public sector companies.

“Since coming to power in 2004, we [UPA] gave advertisements for allocation of coal blocks and invited applications. After the applications were received by the Coal Ministry, the State governments were consulted and thereafter the coal blocks were allocated,” he told journalists outside Parliament.

Responding to the charge that the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) had estimated a loss of Rs. 10.67 lakh crore to the exchequer due to the failure of the government to auction coal blocks, Mr. Jaiswal said they were allocated through a screening committee chaired by Secretary of the Ministry of Coal.

“We did not receive any report of the CAG. Then how can we say whether its report is right or not,” he said, when asked about the CAG loss estimates.

Mr. Jaiswal said between 1993 and 2004 scores of coal blocks were awarded without issuing any advertisements. The proposal for allocation through competitive bidding was mooted for the first time about three years ago. The government is framing guidelines and rules for the proposed auction. “The guidelines on coal blocks are currently being examined. Views are also being sought from the concerned ministries on this and when the guidelines are ready then the process of auction would begin,” he added.

  • ‘We gave advertisements and invited applications'

  • States were consulted before allocation: Minister