The Congress on Wednesday alleged a coal scam of Rs 6,000 crore in Gujarat whereby coal meant for small and medium industry was diverted to industries in other states and demanded a time-bound investigation by a siting judge of the Supreme Court.
The opposition party said the probe should investigate the role of all the four chief ministers of Gujarat in the last 14 years when the alleged scam happened.
Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi demanded answers from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the “missing” 60 lakh tonnes of coal.
“60 lakh tonnes of coal ‘missing’! Will the Prime ’Friend’ Minister say anything on this coal scam,” Gandhi asked in a tweet in Hindi.
He cited a news report alleging that 60 lakh tonnes of coal was missing in Gujarat, terming it a Rs 6000 crore scam.
“We demand that a time bound investigation should be constituted under the sitting judge of Supreme Court. This investigation should investigate involvement of all the 4 chief ministers of Gujarat from 2008 till date (Narendra Modi, Anandiben Patel, Vijay Rupani and BhupendraBhai Patel) in this Rs 6,000 crore scam,” Congress spokesperson Gourav Vallabh told reporters.
He alleged that a coal scam of Rs 6,000 crore has come to light in Gujarat, whereby in the last 14 years, instead of giving coal to the small and medium level industries of the state, agencies of the Gujarat government have sold it to the industries of other states at a higher price.
He alleged that coal extracted from various mines of Coal India did not reach the industries for which it was extracted.
In last 14 years, 60 lakh tonnes of coal have been sent from the mines of Coal India in the name of traders and small industries of Gujarat, the Congress leader alleged and said its average price is Rs 1,800 crore at Rs 3,000 per tonne, but instead of selling it to traders and industries, it has been sold in other states at a price of Rs 8,000 to 10,000/tonne.
Vallabh said it is interesting to note that Narendra Modi (Chief Minister of Gujarat from 2001 to 2014) was also holding the charge of Industry, Mines and Minerals Department of Government of Gujarat (December 2007 to December 2012) after which Vijay Rupani (August 2016 to September 2021) and Bhupendra Patel (Sept 2021 till date) also kept the Industry, Mines and Minerals Department of Government of Gujarat with them.
He asked why in the last 14 years, when this scam happened, for more than 10 years the chief minister of Gujarat was also holding charge of Industry, Mines and Minerals department.
“Is this a mere coincidence or an experiment,” he asked.
“ED, SFIO, Income Tax, FIU and other agencies should register a case and investigate on this Rs 6,000 Crore scam as it is possible that the agencies (SNA) have created fake bills for this game and evaded Income Tax, Sales Tax and GST,” Vallabh demanded.
The Congress leader said the UPA Government had formulated a policy in 2007 to provide good quality coal at affordable rates to the small industries across the country.
Under this policy, coal is extracted every month from West Coal Field and South-East Coal Field of Coal India for Small and Medium Industries of Gujarat.
He said the industries in the name of which coal was extracted from Coal India in the documents did not reach those industries.
“Why only few private agencies were appointed as state nominated agency year after year whereas in other states respective departments of state governments were doing the task assigned to the nominated agency,” Vallabh also asked.