PM may intervene in Parliament over coal scam

New Delhi, Aug 22 : The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government on Thursday said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh "may intervene" on Friday and provide clarification on the missing files related to the coal scam.

"The PM may intervene if required," said Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Shukla in the Rajya Sabha.

Launching a scathing attack, India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), continued its demand for the Prime Minster's statement on the missing files related to the coal scam.

Earlier on Tuesday, the BJP targetted the PM over the missing files and said it will not allow the Parliament to function unless he makes a statement.

The Opposition alleged some of the missing coal files were from the time the PM was in charge of the coal ministry.

They demanded an explanation from the PM on how crucial files connected to the 'illegal allocation of coal blocks to private companies' went missing.

However, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath earlier in the day said, "The PM is not a custodian of files. He does not sit in store rooms, does not need to reply."

As many as 60 files are missing, of which 16 have been sought urgently by the Central Bereau of Investigation (CBI).

The Comptroller and Auditor General's (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.

--IBNS (Posted on 22-08-2013)

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