PM was satisfied with decision on Odisha coal block: PMO

New Delhi, Oct 19 (IANS) Days after the CBI registered a formal complaint in allocation of a coal block to Hindalco in Odisha, the Prime Minister's Office Saturday said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was "satisfied with the final decision" in the allocation.

Breaking its silence over the allocation of Talabira coal block to Hindalco, the PMO accepted that the decision was different from what the screening committee recommended, but said it was taken following "a representation" it received from one of the parties, which was referred to the coal ministry.

"The prime minister is satisfied that the final decision taken in this regard was entirely appropriate and is based on the merits of the case placed before him," the statement said.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed an FIR against former coal secretary Prakash Chandra Parakh and industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla for alleged irregularities and criminal conspiracy in the allocation of the two blocks.

Parakh, however, said it was Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who decided the allocation of two coal blocks in Odisha in 2005 over which the CBI has filed FIRs.

The statement also clarified that "no impediment" is being placed on the CBI to continue the investigation and seek fresh information which may have a bearing on the case.

"The investigation on this and other matters must take their normal course under the law," the statement said.


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