Aam Aadmi Party on Friday hit out at the PM Narendra Modi-led Central Government for giving Adani a free hand to carry out a massive loot of the country’s resources. AAP senior leader and Rajya Sabha MP Shri Sanjay Singh addressed a press conference and said that Shri Gautam Adani had carried out a coal block scam of Rs 1 lakh crore. He also showed documents to cement his claims.
The allocation of many coal blocks was cancelled in 2014 after India’s top court discovered how the coal blocks had been distributed without following the proper procedures to benefit a select few private businesses. Shri Sanjay Singh recalled that during the 2014 national election campaign, Narendra Modi had claimed that the coal scam has darkened the face of the entire nation. Sanjay Singh then accused Modi of taking this national embarrassment to new heights.
The Supreme Court had said in its order that the coal blocks allocated to the state government for electricity generation cannot be run through a joint venture with any private player. The Government of India announced that to respect the Supreme Court, they would bring a law for the same, and the Modi Government thus passed an act in the parliament for the allocation of coal blocks in 2015. However, Singh said that the Modi Government disrespected the core principle of the SC ruling in its law, which stated that the state governments could run coal blocks through a joint venture with up to 26% share going to private companies. This was not all.
The coal blocks cancelled by the Supreme Court order included the coal blocks of Parsa East & Kente Basan in Chhatisgarh which had earlier been allocated to the Rajasthan state government. However, Singh asserted that these two mines were not cancelled because they had been allocated to Modi’s friend, Adani. He asked Modi, “Why was the allocation of these two coal blocks continued despite the SC order against it?”
Shri Sanjay Singh also drew attention to the shocking agreement between Adani and Rajasthan government, according to which, Adani owns 74% of these blocks, and the Rajasthan state govt owns only 26%. “So it is in violation of both the SC order as well as of the central government’s law,” Singh argued.
Shri Sanjay Singh alleged that the Modi government had given away India’s coal worth Rs 1 lakh crore to Adani for free through this agreement. He asserted that the coal that Adani was selling to the state government from its own mines was more expensive than what Coal India sold it for.
While Coal India Limited sells coal to the Rajasthan government at Rs 2000 per tonne, Adani sells coal extracted from mines in Rajasthan, to the Rajasthan power plants at Rs 2300 per tonne. So the Rajasthan state government pays 300 rupees more per tonne for coal from its own mines.
Shri Sanjay Singh said that the central government’s law which allocates coal mines to state governments was intended to ensure that the state governments can mine at cheaper rates and hence, provide cheaper electricity to the people. Singh explained, “But Adani essentially says- Even if you own the buffalo, I will sell its milk to you at prices higher than market rates, and I will also sell and profit from the extra milk produced.”
Shri Sanjay Singh also explained to the public “Adani’s game of coal reject in the two coal blocks.” Coal India considers coal up to 2200 kcal fit for use in power plants. But the deal that was struck between the Rajasthan government and the company led by Adani, mutually agreed saying that coal that is below 4000 kcal will not be considered to be fit to be used in the power plant, which means it will become what we call coal reject.
Shri Sanjay Singh also added that according to an act of the Government of India, a private company is not allowed to take even one piece of coal for personal use from a mine that has been allotted to it. The act also states that even when it comes to coal reject, the private company cannot use it for personal use and it will belong to the state government that has been allotted the mine.
However in this case, the Government of India allowed the Adani Group to use upto 25 percent of coal reject for private use. So, what this means is that the coal that is deemed unfit to be used in the power plant belonging to the state is now being used to make power in a private power plant owned by the Adani Group. He explained that 25 percent coal reject means that the companies belonging to Adani Group got as much as 1,000 million tonnes. Taking into account the approximate cost of the whole coal reject, it amounts to around Rs 50,000 crores. This is what has been given to companies owned by Adani for free.
Shri Sanjay Singh hit out at the BJP government and asked why has the Government of India order and the Supreme Court order not been followed on this matter. When the SC had scrapped the allocation of mines, then why is the company owned by Adani still running these two coal mines, he asked.
He explained that in a similar incident in Karnataka, a private company that had been allotted the mines over there was involved in doing exactly the same things as, and it was raided by the CBI and other agencies and its properties worth Rs 2000 crore were attached. He further asked why the company owned by Adani was being allowed to flout norms and yet no action had been taken against it.
Shri Sanjay Singh said that he would write a letter to the CBI and the CAG and ask the agencies to probe this scam caused by the Adani Group. He concluded by saying that India has a tremendous amount of resources and if these are used valuably then the citizens of the country can be given several basic necessities such as electricity, water, education and health for a very small amount, but it is only because of the corruption of the PM Narendra Modi-led Central Government that these necessities cost more than what they actually should, in reality.