Press Statement
The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:
Following the Supreme Court order quashing the allocation of 214 coal blocks the Modi Government seems to have decided to promulgate an ordinance empowering the government to take back these coal blocks and reallocate them to private entities through an e-auction.
This completely nullifies the coal nationalization Act of 1973. Coal was nationalised as a precious national asset required for the country’s development especially to provide energy resources to the people. By an open market e-auction this objective would be negated. In any case such a decision cannot be taken unless the parliament enacts a legislation nullifying the 1973 Act.
The 1973 Act has already been considerably diluted by successive Central Governments from the Vajpayee led NDA government onwards when the right was given for captive power plants in specific sectors like power generation, steel, fertilizer and cement. These coal blocks were allocated under this dispensation. It has now been found that most of these coal blocks were not under production but were used as collaterals for raising capital and speculative profiteering through sale of coal for purposes other than the stipulated ones.
The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) demands that the government must implement the 1973 Act in right earnest. Coal India must be empowered to undertake all mining in the country and after allocating the resource for the public sector and state electricity boards for providing power to the people, the remaining may be sold in the open market for private corporates.