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PM's response to CAG report: Calculations misleading

August 22, 2012 18:50 IST

With the Opposition targetting the government over Comptroller and Auditor General report on coal allocation, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is geared up to rebut in Parliament the charges, contending that there were 'inaccuracies' in the 'misleading' assessment of loss of Rs 1.85 lakh crore.

In the six-point response, which he is unable to present in Parliament due to the stalemate caused by the Opposition, the prime minister would be underlining that the coal blocks were allocated in a transparent and appropriate manner through checks and balances without any favour to any company.

The thrust of the prime minister's response is that Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Odisha and Jharkhand, all ruled by non-United Progressive Alliance governments, had opposed in 2005 the Centre's move to bring a legislation on auction process, sources told PTI.

He holds the opposition by these states responsible for the delay in introduction of competitive bidding for allocation of coal blocks "as a new concept was being contemplated requiring changes in relevant laws as well as building consensus despite opposition to the proposal from different stakeholders, states and ministries."

The law for auction bidding is now in place. The delay in coal block allocation was one of the charges made by the CAG.

The prime minister had on Tuesday said that he 'can give satisfactory answers to all issues being raised'.

Contesting the CAG's contention that private firms gained to the tune of Rs 1.85 lakh crore in coal block allocation between 2005 and 2009, Singh's assertion is that it reflects 'inaccuracies; in the report.

The prime minister's point is that the CAG has computed on the basis of allocation of 57 mines but out of these, 31 coal blocks belong to the period prior to 2006.

He also says the amount of loss projected by CAG was 'misleading' as calculations had been done on the basis of Coal India prices and private players have different cost parameters.

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