DeMOCKERYcies - The burning truth: Coal Scam
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This blog post is written by
student NikhilChandwani, who is also a novelist and a poet. His first novel “I
wrote your name in the sky….And Yours….And Yours too” was recently
THE BIGGEST ENEMY OF DEMOCRACY IS IGNORANCE: JULIAN ASSANGE
's Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG)
released a contentious report last week, detailing its earlier claim that
presiding officials including the prime minister cost the country billions of
dollars by allotting coal mining blocks by fiat rather than auctioning them to
the highest bidder.” India
The distribution process was buried. Distributions were made on the root of recommendations by Screening Committees, in the lack of any evidence. Transparency was absent; it was illogical and gave enough space for secret corruption. It was contested within the coal domain. A digestible public sale policy was suggested.
Till 1993, there were no specific criteria for allocation of coal blocks. The process of bringing in transparency and objectivity in the allocation process of coal blocks, which commenced from 28 June 2004, got delayed at various stages and the same is yet to materialize (February 2012) even after a lapse of seven years.
142 blocks were allotted to government-owned and private companies since 2004, and 86 of them should have been producing ore by March 31, 2011. Only 28 of them were actually operating, at least in part because of local opposition and difficulty obtaining environmental clearances.
The financial impact of the benefit to the private allotters has been estimated at Rs 1.85,591.34 Crores as on financial New year (31st March 2011). The Government could have tapped a part of this financial benefit by expediting decision on competitive bidding for allocation of coal blocks.
All the giant companies are named in the CAG report: Reliance, Essar, Tata, are amongst the companies listed in the report. These are the same companies lobbying with Dr. Manmohan Singh to set away vacant environmental processes and legislation to help them carry out the mining in cheapest way possible.
These companies have, in addition to displaying gross discount for environmental concerns, been violating the rights of people – both forest dwellers and those dependents on the forests for their livelihoods. The Forests Rights Act, which ensures that the rights of individuals and communities on forests are recognized, has been poorly implemented, on rarest of occasions that it has been implemented at all. Every dirty trick in the book has been used to persuade, discourage, threaten, depress and bully communities to give up their land for coal mining.
All of this establishes that the government's promise to ensure private profit is supreme; even the government's own acknowledged purpose of increasing coal based power creation was not achieved. To explain its failure in this, it has been misdirecting awareness to delayed clearances in an intensive manner. But the burning truth is out.
The truth is hurting my intelligence.
It looks like a logical case of KISSING PRIVATE ASS for money and power! Or as they say in Congress, "ITALIAN KISS" and I say that with all due disrespect to you, INDIAN GOVERNMENT!