The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:
On the Coal Scam
A draft CAG report has estimated a whopping Rs. 10.67 lakh crore loss to the exchequer on account of allocation of 155 coal blocks without competitive bidding by the UPA government between 2004 and 2009. Out of this, windfall gains of Rs. 4.79 lakh crore accrued to a number of private companies.
Coal, being a natural resource, cannot be gifted to private corporations at throwaway prices. The Supreme Court has reiterated this principle in the recent 2G judgement that the state as a custodian of the country's natural resources cannot sell it off without transparent competitive bidding. While allocating coal blocks to public sector power utilities, which play a social role by providing electricity at reasonable rates, is understandable, such enormous largesse showered on profit-making private companies is nothing but a huge scam. It is disturbing that these coal blocks were allocated at a time when the Prime Minister was in charge of the coal ministry.
Coming after the 2G, CWG, KG gas and Air India scams, the coal scam is yet another misdeed of this scam-ridden UPA government. All these scams are outcomes of the big business-corrupt politician-bureaucrat nexus which has flourished under the neoliberal policy regime.
CPI (M) demands that the CAG report be tabled in parliament without delay and necessary actions initiated on an immediate basis to recoup the losses to the national exchequer.
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