Coal mine auctions leave no doubt about CAG’s loss figure: PM

New Delhi: CAG’s astronomical Rs 1.86 lakh crore loss figure in coal block allocations had raised some doubts initially, but the auction of less than 10 per cent of those mines alone has garnered Rs 1.10 lakh crore, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today.

Speaking at a Nasscom event, Modi said that against the age-old practice of allocating coal blocks “after getting a letter” from a certain quarter, the NDA-government devised a transparent e-auction process through which all the coal blocks are being allocated.

“Out of the total 204 (coal blocks, the allocations of which were cancelled by the Supreme Court), only 19 have been auctioned till now and we have garnered Rs 1.10 lakh crore,” Modi said.

Coal block allocation during the UPA period led to loss of staggering Rs 1.86 lakh crore as per the estimates of the official auditor CAG. The report had caused tremendous discomfort for the UPA government and the Congress that headed the coalition.

Modi said that when CAG estimated the loss figure of Rs 1.86 lakh crore “we also used to talk about that politically, but we also couldn’t believe”, but after the auction all the doubts have been cleared.

The disbelief was because people had not seen such humongous figures, he said.

“People who had only seen a pond can not imagine the size of a sea,” the Prime Minister added.

Modi said that after the cancellation of the blocks by the Supreme Court, the present government brought in ordinance within three months.

Through the use of modern technology, the Prime Minister said, transparency has been brought in the process of auction.

The present government switched to auctioning the coal blocks after the Supreme Court cancelled allocation of 204 mines in September last year.