New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is investigating the coal blocks allocation scam, has said that the first two FIRs in the case is likely to be made very soon.
The investigating agency has told CNN-IBN that as many as 20 private companies and several state and Central government officials are being probed in connection with the alleged scam.
The companies that are under scanner include Grace Industries, DB Powers, Pushp Steel & Mining, NSL Powers and Infratech Ltd, Vimmi Iron & Steel Udyog, Visa Powers, GVK Powers, Kohinoor Steel Pvt Ltd, Rungta Projects, SKS Ispat, Navbharat Industries, Rashmi Cement, Jus Industries, Reliance Power, AMR, Vandana Global, JMD Yawatmal and Green Infrastructure.
According to the CBI, as many as 20 private companies and several state and Central government officials are being probed.
According to the CBI, officials from Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Odisha and Jharkhand are likely to be probed.
Sources in the CBI have also said that most of the mines were allotted on the basis of recommendations and not merit.
After the FIRs are filed, the CBI will interrogate senior bureaucrats of state governments, including chief secretaries.
The investigating agency is also slated to examine some top officials of the Central government.
This comes days after the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report said that presumptive loss to government from allocation amounts to as much as Rs 1.86 lakh crore, which is higher than the 2G spectrum allocation loss figure.
Though the CAG report remained silent on the role of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), it said that private companies were beneficiaries of the allocation.
The report said that the estimate was only on account of private players and that the loss caused by PSUs would be audited separately.
According to the report, nearly 44 billion tonnes of coal were given at throwaway prices. Around 194 coal blocks were allotted on mere recommendation.
Rapping the government for its failure to timely implement the competitive bidding mechanism for allocation of coal blocks, CAG today said part of the Rs 1.86 lakh crore loss could have been partially tapped had the procedure been put in place earlier.