Jaiswal denies scam in coal, to specially consider Odisha case


Claiming that there was no scam in coal sector, including that of coal block allocation in states, Union Coal Minister Sripakash Jaiswal today said, the Centre will specially consider the case of Odisha if it participated in the bidding process for allotment of five new coal blocks in the Talcher area.

"There is no scam in the coal sector during the UPA Government. Coal blocks are being allocated since 1993 and we have followed the process. The previous NDA government had allocated 43 coalblocks during its tenure," Jaiswal told reporters

Stating that since the Coal India Limited (CIL) alone

cannot meet the growing demands of coal, Jaiswal said, the government allocated coal blocks to private players as done by previous governments.

"How can you say that all governments indulged in scam in coal block allocation," he asked adding that from Narashima Rao to Atal Behari Vajpayee government, all allocated coal blocks to private companies.

To a question on de-allocation of three coal blocks given to Odisha's public sector undertakings, Jaiswal said, the Ministry has absolutely no role in the process.

"Those who failed to achieve the milestone have been served with deallocation notices," he said.

On Odisha government's demand of re-allocation of de-allocated coal blocks, Jaiswal said, "We cannot do that (reallocation). The inter-ministerial group takes decision in

that regard. The Ministry has no role in that."

When asked about Odisha's steel and mines minister R K Singh's statement on re-allocation of de-allocated coal blocks to central PSUs like NTPC, the Union Minister said, "We had given commitment to NTPC, but never given similar assurance to

Odisha government."

Earlier, the Coal Ministry had deallocated three coal blocks like Utkal-D, Mandakini-B and Radhikapur-E coal blocks allocated to Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) and Odisha Hydro Power Corporation (OHPC) respectively.

The state government had recently submitted a memorandum to the Centre demanding re-allocation of the three coal blocks in favour of State PSUs.

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