New Delhi: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh on Monday said that he had written a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2005 saying a change in coal blocks allotment policy would adversely affect ongoing steel, iron and captive power projects in the state at that time.

"We had suggested to the Union Coal Minister in May, 2005, and to the Prime Minister in June, 2005, that a sudden change in the policy of allotment of coal blocks will have an adverse impact on the viability of the then ongoing steel, iron and captive power projects in Chhattisgarh.

"Therefore, our suggestion was either to allocate coal blocks to ongoing projects or to adequately allocate coal blocks to state Mining Corporation, so that it could meet the demands of the existing or ongoing projects," Singh said.

His reaction came in response to a statement by Prime Minister Singh made in and outside Parliament on Monday saying BJP Chief Ministers, including Raman Singh, had written to him in June 2005 seeking continuation of the extant policy of coal block allocation.

The PM said the Chhattisgarh Chief Minister had requested that any change in coal policy be made after arriving at a consensus between the central government and the states.

"We had also suggested that if Government of India decides for competitive bidding for allocation of coal blocks, then it would be in the fitness of the thing and fairness that the revenue to be generated through competitive bidding is shared between the concerned state government and central government," he said adding "now Govt of India has conceded to our demands of 2005 and the policy clearly keeps provision for the same".


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