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     Raipur, August 27, 2012: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh today clarified that the state government under his leadership had suggested to the Centre on coal block allotment to avoid an adverse impact on the ongoing steel, iron and captive power projects in the state.

     “We have suggested to Union Coal Minister in May, 2005, and to Prime Minister in June, 2005, that a sudden change in the policy of allotment of coal blocks will have an adverse impact on the viability of the then ongoing steel, iron and captive power projects in Chhattisgarh,” in a statement Singh clarified here.

     “Therefore, our suggestion was either to allocate coal blocks to ongoing projects or to adequately allocate coal blocks to state Mining Corporation. So that it could meet the demands of the existing/ongoing projects,” he said.

     “We had also suggested that if Government of India decides for competitive bidding for allocation of coal blocks, then it would be in the fitness of the thing and fairness that the revenue to be generated through competitive bidding is shared between the concerned state Govt and central Govt,” he added.

     “Now Govt of India has conceded to our demands of 2005 and the policy clearly keeps provision for the same. Now as per the new policy the state mining corporation would be given coal blocks without competitive bidding whereas; private companies would be allotted coal blocks through competitive bidding and the revenue generated in the competitive bidding should be given to state concerned,” the Chief Minister said.

     Amid upheaval over the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) on coal block allotments the main opposition BJP has asked for the resignation of Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh claiming the irregularities took place when Coal portfolio was under the prime Minister.

     However, in a counter-attack, Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal and his cabinet and party colleagues have said several non-Congress governments, including Chhattisgarh, Odisha, West Bengal and Rajasthan had written to the Centre advocating continuation of the coal block allotment without any auction.

     After the name of Raman Singh was dragged into the controversy, the Chhattisgarh Chief Minister today released a portion of his letter written to the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on June 28, 2005 to “set the records straight”.

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