BJP sees scam in Rs 417-crore fine paid by govt for coal firm

BJP sees scam in Rs 417-crore fine paid by govt for coal firm

The BJP on Saturday accused Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Energy Minister D K Shivakumar of causing a loss of Rs 417 crore to the exchequer to favour a Kolkata-based coal mining company.

 “This is the biggest loot of public money I have seen in my political life,” BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa told a press conference, releasing documents in support of his claims. He demanded a CBI probe.  

In September 2002, KPCL joined hands with Eastern Minerals and Trading Agency (EMTA) to form a joint venture called Karnataka EMTA Coal Mines Limited (KECML). KPCL held 26% stakes in the venture.

In 2003, the firm was allotted six coal mines at Kiloni, Manoradeep and Baranj in Maharashtra, to be supplied to 1,000 MW thermal power station at Ballari. Siddaramaiah serves as KPCL chairman and Shivakumar as vice-chairman.

In September 2014, the Supreme Court cancelled 40 coal blocks, when irregularities in their allocation came to light, including six of KECML.

The court levied a penalty of Rs 295 per ton of coal produced between October 2008 and September 2014, when KECML had mined 1.41 crore tonnes. This added up to Rs 417 crore payable to the ministry of coal. The company received a notice from the Chandrapur (Maharashtra) collector in October 2014, seeking payment of the levy before December 31, 2014. KECML, however, responded saying KPCL, being the allottee, was liable to pay.

“On December 30, 2014, the KPCL wrote to the joint venture company, asking it to pay up. However, the very next day, on December 31, 2014, the KPCL paid Rs 110 crore. What happened in 24 hours that KPCL volunteered to pay up? What was the deal struck?” Yeddyurappa said.

Further, in March 2017, KPCL paid the remaining Rs 337 crore.


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