Home India Politics BJP rejects zero-loss theory on coal scam

BJP rejects zero-loss theory on coal scam


New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Saturday rejected the Congress-led UPA government’s no-loss theory on the allocation of coal blocks to private players, alleging it was trying to mislead the people.

“When coal blocks are allocated, the right to mine rests with the private allottees, not government of India. Even without actual mining, the government has lost control over those mines at a throw-away price,” Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said at a press conference at the party office here.

He also slammed union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, saying that he had not learnt any lesson from the failure of zero-loss theory in case of 2G spectrum allocation scam.

“When the 2G scandal happened, Kapil Sibal (now communications minister) propounded the zero-loss theory. He could not mislead the people and eventually had to eat his words,” Jaitley said, slamming the United Progressive Alliance government.

Chidambaram had Friday said: “If the coal is not being mined, there is no question of gain or loss… the notion of this presumptive loss is flawed.”

He also defended BJP’s protest in parliament on the issue, saying that the government wanted to defend itself based on such “fragile logic”.

BJP has been demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who was incharge of coal ministry when coal blocks were allocated without auction.

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) said last week in a report to parliament that lack of transparency in allocation of coal blocks to private players resulted in a notional loss of Rs.1.85 lakh crore ($37 billion) to the exchequer.