New Delhi: It seems that the controversy over coal blocks allocations is not going to die down in near future. UPA government at the centre, which is on the back foot after a CAG report brought large scale irregularities to fore in allocation of coal blocks to private firms, is planning to allow a CBI probe into all the coal blocks allocations since 1993.

Remarkably, Union Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal has written a letter to the CVC (Chief Vigilance Commissioner)to make a recommendation in this connection.

Seeing the intentions of the government, it is believed that the CVC will ask the top investigating agency in a day or two to probe all coal-block allocations post 1993. Presently, the CBI is probing irregularities in the allocation of 64 coal blocks between 2004- 2009 to private firms.

An FIR has already been registered against five companies in this connection. Nearly 218 coal blocks were allocated between 1993 and 2009 and the CBI may be asked to probe into all of them. However, this move of the government is likely to invite stiff opposition from the coal and power sector companies as production at many of these coal blocks has already started.

On the other hand, some political meaning is also being drawn from the letter written to the CVC by the Coal Minister Jaiswal. It is to be noted that a number of coal blocks were allocated to the private companies by Congress’ PV Narsimha Rao government, United Front government, NDA government and UPA I and UPA II governments whereas only those coal block allocations are under the scanners of CBI and CAG which were given during UPA I regime.

However, Union Coal Minister is making all out efforts to get all coal block allocations made during previous governments in the past two decade probed. A delegation of parliamentarians led by Congress MP Sandeep Dixit has already met CVC in this connection. These MPs have written to the Union Coal Minister Jaiswal requesting him that the allocation procedures for the coal blocks should undergo scrutiny so that no controversy arises in future.

It is also believed that the CBI probe could create new problems for the BJP ruled states because most of the controversial allocations were recommended by the state governments of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand governments. However, some of the recommendations were made by the previous Congress governments of these states.


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