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Panel seeks probe into coal officials joining pvt mining firms

File photo of Coal Ministry Additional Secretary and head of the inter-ministerial group (IMG) Zohra Chatterji and other members after a meeting on coal blocks status in New Delhi in March 2012. PTI Photo

File photo of Coal Ministry Additional Secretary and head of the inter-ministerial group (IMG) Zohra Chatterji and other members after a meeting on coal blocks status in New Delhi in March 2012. PTI Photo  

A Parliamentary panel has raised concerns over officers of the Coal Ministry and PSUs, who were directly or indirectly connected with allotment of mines, joining the private sector soon after retirement in violation of norms. The Standing Committee on Coal and Steel has asked the government to conduct an inquiry into the matter.

Officers of the Coal Ministry and public sector units, who were connected with the allotment of coal blocks, joining private mining companies after retirement raises serious doubts about their impartiality when associated with the process of allotment of coal blocks, the Committee said.

The Standing Committee on Coal and Steel also wanted the Ministry of Coal to immediately conduct an inquiry into the matter. It also wanted the Coal Ministry to furnish details of officers in the Ministry, Coal India Ltd (CIL) and its subsidiaries, who had joined private companies against the guidelines set for the purpose.

The Committee in its report further said the Department of Public Enterprises had issued guidelines whereby director-level officers of coal companies are required to intimate or take permission from the government regarding employment after retirement or voluntary retirement scheme. The panel said the board level officials of PSUs are also required to seek permission from the respective companies to join the private sector after retirement.

The Committee said it was “surprised to note from the reply of the Ministry of Coal that no such records (pertaining to officers of the Coal Ministry, CIL and its subsidiaries who have joined private companies against the guidelines set for the purpose) have been maintained as most of the officers do not go on retirement from this Ministry but only are repatriate to their respective cadre.”

The panel further said it would like the Coal Ministry to obtain records of all such officers who have joined private companies, especially those who were allocated coal blocks, after retirement.

“As regards the recommendation of the Ministry of Coal to the Department of Public Enterprises to review the time limit of the cooling off period from the existing one year to at least 2 years, the Committee desires that the matter may again be pursued with the Department of Public Enterprises and the Committee be apprised of the same.”

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 8:33:06 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/panel-seeks-probe-into-coal-officials-joining-pvt-mining-firms/article5664680.ece

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