CAG clarifies on alleged coal-block losses

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has taken exception to a published newspaper report that cited a CAG draft as saying that the country had lost around Rs10,70,000 crore by not auctioning coal blocks.

The CAG also wrote a letter to the prime minister stating the CAG's objection to the misleading report. The details of purported losses suffered by the government are only preliminary observations of the CAG, the letter clarified.

The benefits accruing to companies in coal sales are unintended and may not necessarily amount to a loss to the government, CAG said in his letter to the PM.

The Times of India today carried a lead story titled `Government lost Rs10.7 lakh crore by not auctioning coal blocks: CAG' and the letter was in response to that (See: Government lost Rs10.67 lakh crore on cheap coal block sale: CAG).

''In the extant case the details being brought out were observations, which are under discussion at a very preliminary stage and do not even constitute our pre-final draft and hence are exceedingly misleading,'' the letter said.