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Sep 10, 2012 at 11:58pm IST

Coal block allotted to a company in mining business, not a Congress MP: Naveen Jindal

New Delhi: Congress MP Naveen Jindal on Monday denied that his company was allotted a coal block in violation of government norms, saying his company had the technology to convert coal into liquid fuel.

Jindal said that the government had invited 28 companies, of which only two had the experience to convert coal to liquid fuel and according to him, his company, Jindal Steel and Power Limited, had the best credentials.

Referring to the alleged delay in the mining, the Congress MP said, "We were not squatting on the coal blocks. Mining is a tough business to start."

He also denied the allegations that the government had preferred his company even as Coal India Ltd was interested in the block. "Coal blocks were given to private companies where Coal India had no plans to mine," said Jindal.

Talking about the allegations that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as the Coal Minister had helped the Jindals, he said that the block was not given to a Congress MP, but to a company in the mining business.

Hitting out at the Opposition over its attack on the alleged coal blocks allocation scam, Jindal said that he was "confident that what the government and my company have done are right and above board".

"We cannot wait for the auction process to start as the country needs coal. It is like saying stop elections till women's bill is passed," said Jindal, taking a dig at the opposition.

He further pointed that even America, Canada, Africa and Australia had not auctioned coal blocks.