The explosive Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report on the alleged malpractices in the allocation of coal blocks was on Friday tabled in the Parliament.
The report has pegged the loss caused due to irregularities in coal block allocations at Rs 1.86 lakh crore.
The initial CAG draft report had estimated the loss at Rs 10.7 lakh crore.
The humongous loss to the exchequer meant windfall gains to the private players, as the coal block allocations were done without competitive bidding.
The CAG has not only recommended immediate coal block auction but also an FIPB like single window for their clearances.
On Coal India Ltd (CIL), CAG recommends synchronising the coal mining and transportation activities. It also suggests setting up of coal washeries.
The Government has reportedly put together a robust defence against the CAG report.
Surprisingly, the final CAG report is silent on the role played by Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in the allocation of coal blocks.
The CAG report says that 44 billion tons of coal was given at throw-away prices, while 194 coal blacks were allocated on just recommendations.
The major beneficiaries included Tata Group entities, Jindal Steel & Power, Anil Agarwal Group companies, Essar Group's power ventures, Adani Group, Arcelor Mittal and Lanco group.