Private sector should not be targeted for coalfield allocations: Jindal

September 6th, 2012 - 9:58 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 6 (IANS) Private firms should not be unfairly targeted for coalfield allocations, Chairman of Jindal Steel and Power and Congress MP Naveen Jindal said Thursday, adding any such move would negatively impact the economy.

“Both private and public sectors have to be treated equally. You can’t just target private sector because they are making profit,” Jindal told reporters on the sidelines of the fifth Global Skills Summit, organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) here.

Jindal said it would not be proper to draw a conclusion that all the private firms have got the coal block licences through improper means.

“It is the most unfortunate controversy,” said Jindal, adding there has hardly been auction of coal blocks around the world.

“Has ever any coal blocks being auctioned in US, Australia, Indonesia or most other countries? Then why is this whole controversy in India?”

Asked about the delay in starting production at the coalfields allocated to his company, Jindal claimed the work was progressing at the best possible pace.

“There has been a lot of progress in the last one year,” he said.

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

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