New Delhi: Holding Prime Minister Manmohan Singh “morally, politically and personally” responsible for the Rs 1.86 lakh crore loss estimated by CAG in coal block allocation, the BJP today demanded that he should quit his post.
“The facts leading to the delay are incontrovertible.
The Prime Minister is morally, politically and personally responsible for this wrongful loss. He must seriously introspect on accepting the moral responsibility for this loss and quitting his office,” Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said.
The CAG report establishes that the concept of competitive bidding for coal blocks was first conceived on June 28, 2004, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said.
It has been put into practice after notification only on February 2, 2012. To give effect to this policy itself, eight years have lapsed, she said.
The main Opposition held Singh directly responsible for this delay as he held the Coal portfolio for five of these eight years. The CAG report which was tabled in Parliament today stated that this delay caused a loss of approximately Rs 1.86 Lakh Crore to the exchequer.
“This eight-year delay envisaged allocation of 142 coal blocks being alloted out of which 67 were alloted to government companies and 75 to private companies. The distinction between the price at which Coal India used to mine and the price at which private players were mining has resulted in a windfall profit of Rs 1.86 Lakh Crore to private players,” Swaraj said.
BJP alleged that “this scam” is bigger than the Rs 1.76 lakh Crore 2G spectrum allocation scam. The party is likely to raise this issue vociferously in both Houses of Parliament and press for Singh’s resignation.