IMG begins coal block hearings

Last Updated: Fri, Sep 07, 2012 02:11 hrs

An Inter-Ministerial Group (IMG) on Thursday began a three-day proceeding hearing from 10 coal-block allottees the reasons for the delay in developing their mines even as the Parliament was adjourned for the 12th day over the alleged swindle.

However, no members of the committee, that has sent out show-cause notices to at least 25 block allottees for delays in developing mines, were ready to speak about what transpired at the six-hour long meeting here.

The 10 allottees grilled on Thursday included Monnet Ispat, Electrosteel, Usha Martin, Adhunik Alloys and Power, Neelachal Iron & Steel, Wani Coalfield, Jharkhand Ispat, Jayaswal Neco and Cororate Ispat.

The hearing came on a day when both houses of the Parliament were adjourned for the day amid continuing uproar on coal block allocation issue and over a bill on quota based promotions in government jobs.

Both houses of the Parliament were initially adjourned till noon on Thursday and again the Rajya Sabha was adjourned till 2 pm amid continuing uproar over the issues.

Both the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha were adjourned amid the ruckus that now plagued the functioning of parliament for the 12th day in the monsoon session.

The BJP demanded cancellation of all coal block licences allocated by the government controversially after a Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report said Rs 1.86 lakh crore was lost owing to the allocations.

The party sought an answer from the government as to why there was no probe ordered in the money trail in the faulty allotments.

BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar on Thursday said that according to "market sources" Rs. 50-Rs 100 per tonne were paid as kickbacks by the allottees.

Earlier on Wednesday, amid a storm and even scuffle by the lawmakers of the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), the bill on quota based promotions in government jobs was tabled in the Rajya Sabha.

The government will try to pass the bill on Thursday, said its ministers.

SP MP Naresh Agarwal and BSP MP Avtar Singh did not stop at just verbal duel over quota bill and they came down to a physical confrontation inside the Rajya Sabha.

Samajwadi Party is against the quota bill while BSP supports it strongly.

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