(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
March 25, 2012
On the Coal Scam
Polit Bureau of the Communist
A DRAFT CAG report has estimated a whopping Rs 10.67 lakh crore loss to the exchequer on account of allocation of 155 coal blocks without competitive bidding by the UPA government between 2004 and 2009. Out of this, windfall gains of Rs 4.79 lakh crore accrued to a number of private companies.
Coal, being a natural resource, cannot be gifted to private corporations at throwaway prices. The Supreme Court has reiterated this principle in the recent 2G judgement that the state, as a custodian of the country’s natural resources, cannot sell it off without transparent competitive bidding. While allocating coal blocks to public sector power utilities, which play a social role by providing electricity at reasonable rates, is understandable, such enormous largesse showered on profit-making private companies is nothing but a huge scam. It is disturbing that these coal blocks were allocated at a time when the prime minister was in charge of the coal ministry.
Coming after the 2G, CWG,
KG gas and
The CPI(M) demands that the CAG report be tabled in parliament without delay and necessary actions initiated on an immediate basis to recoup the losses to the national exchequer.