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De-allocate coal blocks

This petition had 2,608 supporters

India’s Natural Resources are being looted with active support from people who are supposed to protect it. Only in coal block allocation 49,000 million tons coal reserves worth 49 lakh crore rupees were allocated without ensuring benefits to be passed on to the common public in terms of cheap power or any upfront price for the coal block.

Between 1993- 2011,142 coal mines were allocated to private as well as government companies without a public auction, competitive bidding and public tender. Many of the companies were in-eligible and most of them received disproportionate allocation of coal mines. Even the state PSU's which have no experience in mining sector were allotted coal blocks and were allowed to form joint ventures with private companies by way of questionable deals.

The CAG report which examined only allocations related to private companies and claims this policy of free allocation resulted in the loss to the exchequer Rs.1.86 lakh crores. This calculation was made on a very conservative mode. Coal blocks allotted to state PSU's would be audited separately as CAG in Chhattisgarh has reported a loss of 1052  crore rupees loss to exchequer in just one deal of forming a joint venture.

Stock brokerage firm CLSA estimates that only 39 out of the 206 blocks were allocated before 2003. Rest of the blocks were allocated between 2004 and 2011. UPA has been in power since 2004 and a major number of coal blocks were given away free during this time. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was also the Coal Minister during between 2006-2009. During his time 134 coal blocks were given away for free. In totality around 25% of proven and indicated geological reserves of coal was given away free of which sizeable quantity was during the period of Manmohan Singh as the coal minister.

Now Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has started examining the CAG report. As a result of huge media pressure the government also formed the Inter Ministerial Group on Coal comprising of members from coal, steel, power, finance, commerce and law to examine the issue. Since then the IMG has recommended the de-allocation of 13 mining licenses till now while the PAC is examining the "Loss to Exchequer" issue. But surprisingly the IMG is only acting on the non-development of the coal  mines.

I am calling on PAC Chairman Murli Manohar Joshi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to de-allocate coal block allocations, adopt a transparent manner of allocation which also ensures benefits to be passed on to common public, impose a windfall tax on the beneficiaries. Furthermore criminal actions should be initiated against all involved in the disproportionate allocation process to in-eligible companies. 


News Sources-

[1] Coal scandal: 60 coal blocks up for review today, licences at stake

[2] Ministry delaying action on de-allocation of coal blocks-

[3] Scrap coal allocations obtained on false claims or lying unworked, not the whole lot

[4] Losses from coal block allocation

[5] CBI working on case against Sancheti, firm 

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