Government should not cancel coal blocks: Godrej

September 5th, 2012 - 7:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, Sep 5 (IANS) The government should not cancel coal blocks under opposition pressure following the Comptroller and Auditor General’s (CAG) report as it would hurt business sentiment, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) president Adi Godrej said Wednesday.

“The coal blocks, which were allocated as per due process, should not be cancelled as any such cancellation will adversely impact business sentiment,” Godrej said.

Godrej, who is also the chairman of Godrej Group, said the law should take its own course and no precipitate action should be taken.

The Bharatiya Janata Party and Left parties have been pressing for cancellation of all 142 coalfields allocated since 2004 during the Manmohan Singh-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.

The CAG said in a report that the lack of transparency in the allocation of coal blocks to private players resulted in a presumptive loss of a whopping Rs.1.85 lakh crore ($37 billion) to the exchequer.

The private firms, which have been allocated coalfields, are also under scrutiny because most of them have not started production.

Godrej tried to defend the companies saying several factors like land acquisition and environment clearances might have led to the delays in production.

“There are several issues which lead to delays in the start of production in coal blocks. These are related to forest, environment clearances, land acquisition, law and order and lack of supporting infrastructure, especially in the case of blocks in remote areas,” Godrej said in a statement.

“These would need to be addressed through a time-bound, single-window mechanism,” he added.

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