Business Other News 26 Jul 2016 Coal cartel amassed ...

Coal cartel amassed 11 blocks: CAG

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | SANJIB KR BARUAH
Published Jul 26, 2016, 2:10 am IST
Updated Jul 26, 2016, 7:47 am IST
The auditor also criticised the monitoring mechanism of the e-auctioning of the mines.
 The auditor also criticised the monitoring mechanism of the e-auctioning of the mines.

New Delhi: The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), in a report to be tabled in Parliament on Tuesday, has found that in 11 out of 29 coal mines successfully e-auctioned in two lots, a number of qualified bidders were from the same company or were from joint ventures. As a result, the CAG could “not be completely assured” that the potential level of competition was achieved.

The auditor also criticised the monitoring mechanism of the e-auctioning of the mines and the computation process that resulted in underestimation of upfront amounts, floor prices and revised fixed rates of the auctioned blocks.

A primary aim of the audit — covering allocations from May 2015, or the period during which the NDA government decided to allocate coal mines through the e-auction route in the interest of transparency — was to find out whether cartelisation had taken place and whether the principle of fair practices was adhered to.

CAG praises new auction norms
Another objective was to determine the robustness and efficiency of the e-auction process from  design and implementation right up to the coal production stage.

The NDA government had claimed that Rs 2 lakh crore had been added to the public exchequer by allocating just 34 coal fields through the e-auction route. The coal ministry was given a copy of the CAG report on June 22, 2016.

The national auditor was, however, appreciative of the efforts of the coal ministry in planning and implementing an entirely new procedure of allocation of natural resources through the e-auction route within five months of the Supreme Court judgment.

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Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi




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