Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has dismissed the report by CAG on coal allocation saying that the observations are clearly disputable.
While speaking in Lok Sabha on the issue he said, “I wish to say that any allegations of impropriety are without basis and unsupported by the facts. I want to assure Hon’ble Members that as the minister in charge, I take full responsibility for the decisions of the Ministry.”
He further said that he takes the responsibilities of the actions of the ministries and said that the observations made by CAG will be challenged when the matter is placed before the Parliamentary Committee (PAC) for consideration.
According to estimates, the total loss from on-transparent allocation of coal blocks is about Rs 1.86 lakh crore. The report might suggest penalties and disincentives for nonperforming firms while the performers might be allotted with new blocks. The report is likely to lay the blame for loss on steering committee associated with the issue.
The ministry officials also said that the decision of coal block allocations is only taken after intense scrutiny and extensive deliberations. It is believed that the government incurred the huge loss while it allotted 149 blocks to several private companies during 2004-2006.
Finance Minister P. Chidambaram had recently said that the government is being accused of simply carrying forward a policy that existed even before its formation.