BHUBANESWAR, June 1 � As CBI started verifying charges of irregularities in coal block allotments, Union Coal Minsiter Sriprakash Jaiswal refuted Team Anna�s allegation of scam and defended the mechanism adopted by the government in allotting coal mining, reports PTI.
�There is no scam in allocation of coal blocks. The same principles are being followed in allotting coal blocks during the last 15 years for providing subsidised power to the people�, Jaiswal told reporters here.
Stating that coal blocks were being alloted since 1993 to end use sectors like steel plants and power producers on the condition that energy should be provided at subsidised rate, he asserted there has been no deviation from the principles adopted for so many years.
The aim was to ensure provision of cheap power to the poor, the minister said, adding, without such a mechanism electricity would have become costly as in case of petrol.
Maintaining that no CAG report on the matter has been received by his department, Jaiswal declined to comment on allegations levelled by team Anna. �Anybody can level any charge against anyone in a democracy�.
The Minister also dismissed claims about windfall gain of Rs 10.6 lakh crore for the companies which received the mines as mentioned in a draft CAG report.
Justifying the method adopted by the Government in allotment of coal blocks, Jaiswal said, eight coal blocks had been allotted during the governments of P V Narasimha Rao, H D Deve Gowda and I K Gujral, 32 blocks during the NDA regime and 153 coal blocks during the UPA government.