Coal blocks scam: CBI wants files, but ministry has only pointed replies

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Friday, August 23, 2013
Published On: 11:27:17 AM

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Instead, it has only given specific replies to the investigating agency's questions about information contained in these files.

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The CBI, which is investigating the alleged irregularities in the allotment of coal blocks between 1993 and 2004, had given the coal ministry a list of documents it needed to expedite its probe.

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For instance, it had asked for a key file on a report prepared by Coal India on the financial strength of applicant companies. But in return, it only got a specific reply from the ministry.

Similarly, another file about a report of the PSU's financial experts on coal blocks is said to be missing. But the ministry has told the CBI that it has furnished a specific reply to this as well.

Sources in the CBI said both these reports were presented at the 35th meeting of the Screening Committee on September 13, 2007, which had examined the allotment of 15 blocks.

While the coal ministry has only furnished an interim reply to the CBI on the missing file on the final minutes of the 26th Screening Committee meeting, it also does not have a copy of the presentation made by Rathi Steel and Power at the screening panel meeting of December 7, 2007.

The ministry is yet to submit documents relating to the allotment of nearly 16 blocks and has asked ministries such as steel, power, industry and the Planning Commission to help trace them.

Documents with The Indian Express about the efforts of the ministry to locate files and documents sought by the CBI show that while the ministry had failed to acknowledge applications for coal blocks by some firms such as Vini Iron and Steel Udyog (Rajhara North block) and Jharkhand Ispat (Gundalpara block), it is yet to trace the document about the allotment of Lohara (East) block in Maharashtra to Grace Industries and the application letter of Pushp Steel and Mining for the Jitpur and Tubed blocks.

The file on AMR Iron and Steel's Bander block is missing and the ministry has asked the PMO to locate it.

It has even approached Neyveli Lignite Corporation to locate the applications of Marudhar Power and Nandial Enterprises for Lunsara and Indawar lignite blocks in Rajasthan. Unable to trace the file on a presentation submitted by Tata-Sasol and others for the North of Arkhanpal Srirampur and Ramchandi blocks, the ministry has asked the Planning Commission for help.

In the case of Essar Steel's Behraband North block, the ministry has said the mine has not been allotted so far, but the recommendation of the Screening Committee and the offer letter issued have been given to the CBI.

The ministry has so far handed over 34 files to the agency to help its probe.

The files on Tara East, Morga-II, Mandakini-B, Bicharpur and Urma Paharitola block are yet to be handed over to the CBI. Similarly, files of Jaiswal Neco's Gare Palma-IV block and Gondwana Ispat's Majra mine and Gotitoria East and West of BLA Industries are to be furnished to the agency.

The coal ministry is also yet to hand over five files related to Reliance Power's revised mining plan for Moher and Moher Amlori and Chhatrasal blocks. It is yet to submit the status of the commissioning of Sasan Ultra mega power project and the start of coal extraction from these captive mines.

The CBI had also asked for updated information on how much incremental coal had been used at the Chitrangi power project from the Sasan UMPP's captive blocks. This information is also yet to be furnished.

Courtesy : Indian Express

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