Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal has said no coal block was given away during his tenure. Only allotment letters were issued to some firms that were allocated coal mines in the first term of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government.
Jaiswal hurriedly convened a Press conference here on Monday to refute allegations levelled against him by Bhartiya Janta Party MP Hansraj Ahir, who alleged that Jaiswal during his tenure as coal minister sanctioned coal blocks to three private companies including SKS Ispat and Power, CG Sponge Manufacturers Consortium Coalfield and API Ispat and Powertech.
“I have said time and again that except the coal block allocations made in UPA-I no allocations have been made. If any Member of Parliament is making any such statement then the MP is misleading the media as well as the nation” Jaiswal told the media.
In his explanation, Jaiswal said, “Only two coal blocks were there whose names have been mentioned. They were already approved in UPA-I but allocation letter was not issued because general elections were declared. Those allocation letters were issued when UPA-II came in to power,” he said.
“Forget 35 blocks, not even 0.35 coal blocks were allocated in UPA-II. You can come to our office and find it out there is no basis of the allegations, made by BJP MP Hansraj Ahir,” Jaiswal said.
Ahir has reportedly alleged that Jaiswal sanctioned the allocations to three private firms in late 2011 without following the auction route despite the fact that rules for auctioning had come into effect in 2010.
Jaiswal also requested the Opposition parties particularly BJP to allow Parliament to function after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh made a statement on the floor of the House on Monday.