Following Supreme Court order quashing the allocation of 214 coal blocks, "it has now been found that most of these coal blocks were not under production but were used as collaterals for raising capital and speculative profiteering through sale of coal for purposes other than the stipulated ones," the CPI(M) Politburo said in a statement here.

It said the ordinance "completely nullifies the Coal Nationalisation Act of 1973. Coal was nationalised as a precious national asset required for the country's development especially to provide energy resources to the people.

"By an open market e-auction this objective would be negated. In any case such a decision cannot be taken unless Parliament enacts a legislation nullifying the 1973 Act."

The CPI(M) said the Act was already "considerably diluted" by successive Central Governments from the Vajpayee- led NDA government onwards when the right was given for captive power plants in specific sectors like power generation, steel, fertilizer and cement and the blocks were allocated under this dispensation.

The party demanded implementation of the Act "in right earnest" and the empowering of state-run Coal India to undertake all mining in the country.

"After allocating the resource for the public sector and state electricity boards for providing power to the people, the remaining may be sold in the open market for private corporates," it said.

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