Coalgate Scam: another loss of INR 1.8 trillion to Indian economy.
Coalgate Scandal surfaced the names of a few business tycoon alleged of being a part of the scam. CBI filed a fresh FIR against industrialist Kumarmangalam Birla and former Coal Secretary P C Parakh. Hindalco, a flagship company owned by Aditya Birla Group has been alleged of its involvement in the Coal scam under section 120 B of the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA). Mr Parakh has asked CBI to consider Dr Manmohan Singh a part of this scam, as he was the one to take final decisions about Coal mining over the Coal Ministry.
Coal Scam better known as Coalgate, is all about illegal allocation of Coal blocks to public and private enterprises by the Indian government. Government is alleged of allocating about 194 Coal blocks to certain enterprises illegally and in a much unplanned manner. The Coal blocks were allotted during 2004-2009 and the whole scenario came in the picture after the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) drafted a report on Coal allocation scam during March 2012. Soon after in July 2012, CBI registered a preliminary enquiry about the scam.
- Government suffered a huge loss of INR 18.6 trillion, the public and private enterprises were enjoying their profits.
- Government chose not to go for Coal blocks auction even after its authority to do so.
- Private companies were allotted with more than the required Coal blocks.
- Some of the private entities sold the Coal in the open market which was allocated to them for their internal usage.
- Many firms occupied the Coal blocks without any legal consent for allocation.
Government however, stated that delay in announcement for auctions was because of the political conspiracies. It also said that the auctions methodology was alleged by the opposition ruled states. They defended their allocation policy by stating that auction could have led to higher prices of the fuel, causing trouble for the consumers. Along with it, they also said that they didn’t decide for auctions earlier as their motive was not meant to generate revenue.
A complaint was first lodged by BJP, after which CBI initiated with the investigations for allocation of Coal blocks. CBI has lodged 14 cases so far against certain firms and individuals involved in the scandal. An Inter-Ministerial Group (IMG) was formed for deciding on the de-allocation of Coal blocks that were not developed on time. IMG has so far recommended for de-allocation of 13 blocks.
CBI will keep its investigations running further in the Coalgate case and also claims that some other names of business tycoons and firms will be coming in light after the investigation proceeds further.