NEW DELHI: Corruption is disappering owing to the way the government is managing the allocation of the country's natural resources, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said citing the on-going auctions of spectrum and coal mines whose earlier allotments were cancelled by the Supreme Court.
"Corruption is disappearing from the Indian dictionary, if you see spectrum, coal," Jaitley told the Lok Sabha in his reply to the debate on his first full union budget presented last month.
Addressing an intervention by a Congress member, the finance minister said: "In spectrum, you brought in a host of cases, in coal...all the corruption was caught by the Supreme Court, the CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General).
Referring to the former prime minister in this connection, Jaitley said that "Manmohan Singh in his first two months in office in 2004 had said coal blocks should be auctioned, but till 2014, nothing had been done".
"Today because of this faulty decision, we have a situation in which the former PM has been caught. In future, there should not be a situation in which an ex-PM is summoned by court."
In fact, in a move designed to be doubly sure about coal allocations this time around, the government is re-examining the e-auction of coal blocks won by Balco, Jindal Steel and Power (JSPL) and BS Ispat.
JSPL was the successful bidder for Gare Palma IV 2 and Gare Palma IV 3 mines, Balco successfully bid Gare Palma IV/1, and BS Ispat bagged Marki Mangli III mine.
The central government has asked for a review of the bidding process of the mines by the nominated authority, which has published the results of only 8 out of 13 mines that have been auctioned.
The bids for the five undeclared blocks closed in five to eight rounds, while difference between the opening price and closing price was much lower than other blocks, a coal ministry source told IANS on Tuesday.
For instance in case of the Brinda and Sasai block, bidding opened at Rs.1,802 per tonne and closed at Rs.1,804 per tonne. Similarly, bidding for the Meral mine opened at Rs.725 a tonne and closed at Rs.727 a tonne.