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Coal scam: Communist leaders demand answers from PM

New Delhi, Thu, 22 Mar 2012 ANI

New Delhi, Mar 22 (ANI): Communist Party of India (CPI) leader D. Raja on Thursday sought an explanation from Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh over a Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report on coal block allocation that reported a loss of Rs 10.67 lakh crores.

"It is a very serious issue; country is being looted like this. One after another, scam is coming up to the surface, and it is for the Prime Minister to explain, what is happening with his government?" he asked.

Meanwhile, Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Basudev Acharaya termed it to be the biggest scam in world history.

"This coal scam, over the allotment of block, has now emerged. Nowhere in the world has such a major scam taken place. The allotment of coal blocks was done in a non-transparent way to the private companies and the total deposit of coal in a mine was also not revealed correctly," said Acharaya.

"If a mine has 200 million ton, then it was showed as 60 million or 80 million ton and its price was arbitrarily reduced," he added.

Union Law and Justice Minister Salman Khurshid, however, said it was unconstitutional to comment on the matter.

"I know, maybe there are a lot of things, draft things, but you don't ask the law minister to comment on them. You have the draft information that comes in the newspapers, you know what the constitutional procedures and process are and you know what constitutional respect, constitutional ---- has to be given, you know that very well. So, you should just stick to that please," he said.

Proceedings in both houses of Parliament were adjourned till noon earlier in the day after the opposition raised a stink over a Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report on coal block allocation that reported a loss of nearly 11 lakh crores.

The CAG report titled 'Performance Audit of Coal Block Allocations' has reportedly alleged the government of extending "undue benefits" of nearly Rs. 10.67 lakh crore to commercial entities while allotting 155 coal acreages without auction during the period of 2004-09.

The surfacing of the scam, said to be bigger than the 2G scam, has once again given the opposition an opportunity to corner the government in the ongoing parliament session.

It is reported that the over 100 private companies and public sector units from the power, steel and cement industries have benefited from this allocation. (ANI)

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