House committee yet to quantify loss

House committee yet to quantify loss

The Parliament Standing Committee has not quantified the loss accrued by the government due to allocation of coal blocks without bidding even though the Comptroller and Auditor General had estimated that the exchequer suffered a revenue loss to the tune of Rs 1.86 lakh crore. 

The panel, headed by Trinamool Congress leader Kalyan Banerjee, in its report tabled in Parliament on Tuesday, said though the exchequer suffered huge losses due to adoption of non-transparent methods in allocation of coal blocks during the 1993 to 2010 period, it did not estimate the loss.

Asked why the loss was not quantified, Banerjee said: “Despite our repeated queries, the Coal Ministry could not give us information on quantity of coal or its value. We are not an investigating agency and, thus, not in a position to assess the losses.”

The report, which rapped past governments for allocating coal blocks arbitrarily said, “it is unfortunate that for allocating coal blocks, neither any auction was held nor the Central government earned any revenue. When natural resources were allotted, the Coal Ministry failed to indicate how much coal reserve, either in terms of quantum or value, was given away. Nobody knows how much loss the country suffered,” said the report.

Though 195 coal blocks with geological reserves of about 44.23 billion tonnes have been allotted by the government for captive mining, the government has not estimated how much coal was extracted from 29 blocks where works have started.

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