CAG refutes reports of 'coal scam'

As the Opposition created a ruckus in Parliament over an alleged multi-crore “coal scam”, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) clarified to the prime minister  that its observations reported in a section of the media were “exceedingly misleading”.

A file photo of a labourer scavenging in an open-cast mine in Bokapahari village  of Jharkhand.

The Central audit body claimed that report findings were under discussion at a “very preliminary stage” and did not even constitute the “pre-final draft” of the expenditure watchdog. A section of the media on Thursday reported that the CAG had discovered a loss of Rs 10.67 lakh crore caused to the exchequer due to allotment of coal blocks to 100 private and public sector companies without auction between 2004 and 2009.

“Pursuant to the clarification provided by the Coal Ministry in exit conferences held on February 9, 2012, and March 9, 2012, we have changed our thinking. In fact it is not even our case that the unintended benefit to the allocatee is an equivalent loss to the exchequer.

The leak of the initial draft causes great embarrassment as the audit report is still under preparation. Such leakage causes very deep anguish,” the excerpts of the CAG letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, which released by the PMO here, said.

The government, however, faced the heat in Parliament over the issues. As soon as the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha assembled, Opposition members began creating ruckus in both Houses.

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