The Central Bureau of Investigation today registered another preliminary enquiry (PE) in the alleged coal scam against unknown people for allocation of coal blocks to joint venture companies, including private companies, between 1993 and 2004.
The CBI has named 24 companies and unidentified public servants in the PE. The companies include joint venture vehicles formed by state government corporations apart from private companies.
This is the third PE registered by the CBI in its ongoing probe into what has come to be known as 'coalgate', and the investigation in this case was specific about the coal block allocation made by the coal-rich states since 1993, official sources said.
The PE will enquire into allocation of coal blocks and awarding of contracts for formation of joint ventures by government companies under the government dispensation category from 1993 onwards, the CBI said.
According to coal ministry guidelines, ''There shall be three categories / models for allocation. Grant of mines to companies for specified end uses other than power shall be done by auction through competitive bidding process.
''Government companies can also participate in the process, though allotment to government companies for end-use can also be made under the government dispensation route. The identified blocks earmarked for allocation to the power sector would be earmarked to ministry of power or state government for carrying out the tariff based bidding.''