New Delhi: BJP on Friday sought to resurrect the coal allocation issue, alleging there is a "huge scam" in the cancellation of the allotments where no mining has been done well past the deadline and "undue delay" is being caused by the coal ministry and the Inter-Ministerial Group.
BJP MP Hansraj Ahir, who has been spearheading his party's campaign against coal block allotments, said on Friday that like in the allocations, there is a "huge scam" in the cancellation of the blocks as well. He named Coal Minister Sri Prakash Jaiswal and the IMG as the ones responsible for this.
"The Coal Ministry and the government had given three years and six months or four years and six months (in case of forest area mines) to companies for development and mining of coal from open cast and underground mines. Our charge is that though most of the companies have not developed the mines nor started mining, their allotment has not been cancelled," Ahir said.
He claimed that as per the rules, a bank guarantee of one year's royalty is taken from the company which gets the bank allotment and in case of failure to mine, the Coal Ministry has the right to encash 50 per cent of the royalty but no action has been taken.
BJP alleged the Coal Ministry and the IMG have the right to cancel the coal block allocations but have not done so. "Along with Jaiswal, the Coal Controller, the Coal Secretary and IMG members are also involved in this. They are all committing financial wrongdoings and playing a fraud on the country. There has been extortion in this also," Ahir charged.
He said coal block allocation to 115 companies from 2006 to October 17, 2008 when the Bill for auctioning of coal blocks was presented in Parliament should be cancelled. BJP also alleged 18 blocks to 35 companies have been alloted without auctions even after the Bill was introduced.