‘That the CAG does not have a motive ought to have come out in the report. It does not’

Walk the Talk

In this Walk the Talk on NDTV 24x7 with The Indian Express Editor-in-Chief Shekhar Gupta, Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal says he doesn't agree with the CAG report and that he is not optimistic about the auctioning of coal blocks

My guest today is someone who is in the headlines and also in the dock, Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal.

Everyone has to be in the dock at some point in time. But the one who comes out clean is the one who is successful.

Who can emerge from a coal mine without a stain or two... There is an old saying, koyle ki dalaali mein munh kaala... It is the nature of the coal business...

It is not, if the person is honest and his conscience is clear. Dr Manmohan Singh will come out clean. There is no doubt about it.

But why did Manmohan Singh get involved in this?

We all know about Dr Singh's thought process. He did not become the Prime Minister to sit idle, but to work for the growth of the nation. He wanted industries to grow. He wanted to bring about an economic revolution. And that's what he did.

You say all this was done for the nation's growth, but Arun Jaitley has countered this, saying the coal has not yet been mined, so how does it contribute to GDP?

It is a different issue that coal has not been mined. There are a lot of problems in coal mining. Most of the mines are located in far-flung areas, some are located in dense forests. It takes a lot of time to get forest and environmental clearance. Forest dwellers know their rights and want their fair share before allowing any land acquisition. Secondly, was there any option other than allocating the mines? Had we sat idle, how would we have had growth? And the most important thing is, how can we import coal at high rates when we are sitting on coal reserves ourselves?

... contd.

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