May extend Monsoon Session: Nath

Last Updated: Wed, Sep 04, 2013 10:05 hrs

New Delhi, Sept 4 (IBNS) Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath on Wednesday said the government might extend the Monsoon Session of the Parliament to pass key bills.

"If required we may have to extend the Monsoon Session of Parliament. Key legislations are pending and must be passed. I am hopeful that all political parties will recognize this and cooperate," Nath told reporters after meeting Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders here.

In a bid to end the logjam in the Parliament over the missing coal files, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday met BJP leaders including LK Advani at his residence in New Delhi.

"Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday met senior Bharatiya Janata Party leaders LK Advani, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley at his residence in an effort to reach out to the Opposition and end the logjam in Parliament overmissing coal files," CNN-IBN reported.

"The Prime Minister assured the Opposition leaders that nothing will be hidden and there will be full investigation in the missing coal files. However, the BJP refused to give any assurance even as the Prime Minister made an appeal to allow passage of key economic bills like Pension Bill," the news channel said.

Singh earlier in the day said the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government is making all efforts to locate the missing files on coal blocks allocation scam.

"The government is making all efforts to retrieve all papers requisitioned by the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation). Majority of paper have been submitted to the CBI," Singh said in the Parliament.

"The government making all efforts to locate the coal papers; at this stage it is too early to say coal files are missing," said the Prime Minister.

"The government has nothing to hide - more than 2000 pages of documentation has been already handed over to CBI. One lakh files have already been handed over to the CBI," he said.

Singh said the government has provided full cooperation to the CBI and will continue to do so.

He said the government will carry out a thorough investigation and ensure that the guilty are brought to book.

"If government is unable to locate some of those papers than as directed by the Supreme Court, a report will be filed with the CBI. I ask the members of Parliament not to draw hasty conclusions," he said.

BJP leader Arun Jaitley hit out at the government in the Rajya Sabha on the missing coal files.

"The Coal Minister made two statements - first statement was made on August 20 and second on August 23. In the first statement he said some files may not be available and, if asked for, will supply them," said the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha.

"He sub-classifies files into files, documents, applications as they are all loose sheets of paper. This is the substance of the charge: There was an act of nepotism, and coal blocks were given to favorites," said Jaitley.

"Large amount of the revenue of the government has been compromised. The court is monitoring this investigation, subject matter of investigation, the files disappear," he said.

"What are the steps the govt is taking? Who in the govt will take moral responsibility, Mr PM?" he asked.

The CBI needs nearly 225 files from the Coal Ministry to progress in investigations.

The CAG report on coal block allocation estimated a loss of Rs 1.86 lakh crore to the national exchequer owing to irregular allocations.

The CAG named 25 private companies as beneficiaries of coal block allocations in various states. They included companies like Essar Power, Hindalco, Tata Power, Tata Steel and Jindal Steel and Power Ltd.

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