New Delhi: With his company JSPL caught in a row over coal block allocation, Congress industrialist MP Naveen Jindal on Thursday suggested that the private sector was being singled out for attack which was "most unfortunate".

He said investment is not made only in the coal blocks but also in the multi-billion power, steel or cement plants.

"In spite of that you just allege that some gain has happened to private sector. If the private sector would not make any gain how would they survive. Whatever gain they make, government is going to take 33 percent income tax on that. Just for narrow political gains such kind of allegations are made..It is most unfortunate," Jindal said.

He said the private sector was being singled out for attack in the case of coal block allocations. "If it (coal block) is given to a private sector, then somebody talks of financial gain or loss and media also plays that up. I think that is very unfortunate," he said on the sidelines of a FICCI event here.

Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL), headed by Jindal is one of the companies being reviewed by Inter-Ministerial Group(IMG) for a possible deallocation, as it could not start production at Jitpur coal block in Jharkhand as per the stipulated time-frame.

Questioning the demand for auction, he asked, "What is happening all over the world? One has to ask. Has ever any coal block been auctioned in the US, in Europe, in Australia, in Indonesia, in Africa? No".

Seeking equal treatment for the private sector, he said, "In fact 75 percent of economy is run by the private sector ... which has to be encouraged. They have to be treated right in eyes of the government and in the eyes of the country."

The government auditor CAG in its recent report stated that undue benefits to the tune of Rs 1.86 lakh crore were extended to private firms on account of allocation of 57 mines to them without auction.

(Agencies)

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