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CBI starts probe in 1993 coal block allocations

CBI on Thursday started probe against 24 companies and public officials in connection with alleged irregularities in coal block allocation between 1993 and 2004, including during the NDA regime. Sources said that 18 of these 24 blocks were allotted during NDA government.

Agency sources said a preliminary inquiry has been registered after CVC referred the complaints from Coal Minister Shri Prakash Jaiswal and seven Congress MPs seeking CBI probe in allocation of coal blocks during NDA rule as well.

The allocation of coal blocks to private companies for captive use started in ‘93 when Coal Mines [Nationalisation] Act, 1973 was amended with the objective of attracting private investments in specified end uses such as power, cement and steel because of growing economy.

Jaiswal along with seven parliamentarians has sought probe since 1993 and submitted a list of 24 beneficiaries companies, some of which have got captive coal blocks as part of joint ventures with state government, which would be under probe of the agency, they said.
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