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Coal scam row: Jaiswal defends released CAG letter

New Delhi, Fri, 23 Mar 2012 ANI

New Delhi, Mar 23 (ANI): Union Coal Minister Sriparakash Jaiswal on Friday rubbished report that the government released bits of Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) letter to deny coal scam report, saying the motive was to provide full information in a concise manner.

"The motive is to provide full information in concise manner. If the language or sentence is changed then it can be considered deleted. As far as the letter is concerned, we received the full letter. We gave the letter to over a dozen media personnel," said Jaiswal.

"The letter was not misleading. But the news (on coal scam), which led to disruptions in Parliament was misleading," he added.

Jaiswal, who had earlier on Thursday, said that the government followed a transparent process in giving mining rights to the firms, further said that the officials of the ministry go in the exit conferences.

"Officials of the ministry go in the exit conferences. It is not necessary that the minister must have knowledge about it until we ask the officials about the discussions that took place (in the exit conference)," he added.

Proceedings in both Houses of Parliament were adjourned for some time on Thursday following opposition pressure over a Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) draft report on coal block allocation.

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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