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CBI registers third PE in coal block scam

The CBI on Friday registered another Preliminary Enquiry (PE) in the alleged coal scam against unknown people for allocation of coal blocks to joint venture companies which included a private player.

This is the third PE registered by the CBI in its ongoing probe in coalgate and the investigation in this case was specific about the coal block allocation made by the coal-rich states since 1993, official sources said.

The sources said these states had allocated coal blocks to private companies after they entered into joint venture with public sector undertakings for use of coal blocks for non-captive use.

The PE will enquire into allocation of coal blocks and awarding of contracts for formation of joint ventures by government companies under the Government Dispensation Category from 1993 onwards, the sources said. According to Coal Ministry guidelines, ‘There shall be three categories/models for allocation. Grant of mines to companies for specified end uses other than power shall be done by auction through competitive bidding process.

‘Government companies can also participate in the process, though allotment to government companies for end use can also be made under government dispensation route. The identified blocks earmarked for allocation to the power sector would be earmarked to ministry of power or state government for carrying out the tariff based bidding.’

In the coal probe, CBI has so far filed seven FIRs against private companies and unknown public officials for alleged misrepresentation of facts and three PEs. CBI registered a PE yesterday against 24 companies and public officials in connection with alleged irregularities in coal block allocations between 1993 and 2004, including during the NDA regime.   
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