PAC questions basis of coal block recommendations

Last Updated: Mon, Oct 29, 2012 19:51 hrs

Ahead of its Odisha visit scheduled for November 2, a nine-member public accounts committee (PAC) of the Parliament has asked the state government to clarify the basis on which recommendations were made for award of coal blocks to companies.

The PAC is also keen to be informed on whether the state government vetted the balance sheets of coal block applicants. Besides, the committee has asked if there was any end-use plant and the progress achieved by the companies on such plants. The PAC is scheduled to hold talks with the chief secretary B K Patnaik and other top state officials on November 3. The Parliamentary panel is led by seasoned BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi.

A team of the office of the Accountant General (Odisha) has already started process of verification of records in respect of recommendations made by the state government for coal blocks. The team led by audit officer P K Hazary is taking up scrutiny of records relevant to coal blocks.

The visiting PAC will examine the procedure followed by the state government in recommending coal blocks for private as well as PSU firms. Besides, the panel will check the status of coal blocks allocated to Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL). The panel will take up scrutiny on the basis of the findings of the Comptroller & Auditor General of India (CAG) on coal block allocations made between 2005 and 2009.

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