Govt. rules out PM's reply on missing coal files, says 'he is not a custodian of files'

New Delhi, Aug 22 (ANI): The central government on Thursday ruled out any possibility of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh making a statement in Parliament on the missing coal scam files, claiming that he was not a custodian of files.

"The PM is not a custodian of the files (coal gate). He is not staying in the store room where the files are. The coal minister is ready to make a statement on the floor of the House," said Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath.

"If the BJP wants to disrupt, there are many excuses. The weather could also be one," he added

The opposition, led by the BJP, has made it clear that it won't allow Parliament to function till the Prime Minister himself explains the missing files related to the allocation of coal blocks to private companies at throwaway prices.

"The Prime Minister should come to the house and explain us to how have coal gate files gone missing and how can we recover them," leader of opposition Sushma Swaraj told the Lok Sabha.

Union Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal on Tuesday said that the Government will make every effort to locate and supply the additional documents required by CBI regarding allocation of coal blocks.

"Coal Ministry has already handed over 769 files and other documents consisting of more than 1, 50,000 pages to CBI," Jaiswal said while making a statement in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.

He said that an Inter Ministerial Committee headed by Additional Secretary, Coal has been constituted to locate the documents which are not readily available in the Ministry.

"As reported by Central Bureau of investigation (CBI), it has registered 3 Preliminary Enquiry cases and 13 FIRs since May, 2012 regarding alleged irregularities in allocation of coal blocks made since 1993," he added.

He further said that the CBI after registering the PEs has since requisitioned files/documents/applications/ feedback forms/ agenda forms etc. in original from the Ministry of Coal.

"So far nearly 769 files/folders/application forms/agenda booklets/ feedback-from booklets, etc. in original have been handed over to the CBI for investigation which is more than 150,000 pages. As investigation progresses, if additional documents are called for by the CBI, the Ministry would supply them to CBI and if any document is not available, it shall makes every effort to trace and supply the same to the CBI," he said.

"CBI has inter-alia asked for 157applications/documents of companies who had applied prior to 28.06.2004 but have not been allocated coal blocks, apart from few other files and documents, " he added

"Since, some documents /applications could not be located in the Ministry of Coal, I have constituted an Inter-Ministerial Committee under the chairmanship of Additional Secretary (Coal) with representatives from Ministries/Departments of Power, Steel, Industrial Policy and Promotion as well as Coal India Ltd. (CIL) and Central Mine Planning and Development Institute Ltd. (CMPDIL) on 11th July, 2013," he said.

"The mandate given to the committee is to examine and review non-availability of files/documents and suggest appropriate action for locating the same. The committee has held two meetings so far and requested the members to locate the copies of documents/applications in their respective organizations," he added. (ANI)

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