New Delhi: The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has cautioned the government against mass cancellation of coal blocks allocation, saying such a step would hurt business sentiment.
“The law should take its own course and no precipitate action should be taken. The coal blocks which were allocated as per due process should not be cancelled. Any such cancellation will adversely impact business sentiment,” CII president Adi Godrej said in a statement.
The coal blocks allocation has disrupted parliament over opposition demands for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s resignation after the official auditor reported a whopping $33.67 billion loss to the government due to allocattion of 57 coal blocks.
The opposition has also been calling for cancellation of the allocation of these captive coal blocks.
Godrej said, “Any coal block allocation where it is established that due process has not been followed, should be reviewed and, appropriate action taken in accordance with law.”
Of the 57 coal blocks in question, actual production has started in only one. Godrej pointed out the various issues which lead to delays in the start of production.
These, he said, include issues related to forest, environment clearances, land acquisition, law and order and lack of supporting infrastructure, especially in remote areas.
“These would need to be addressed through a time-bound, single-window mechanism.”
CII said that almost 40 percent of the revenue from coal mining goes to the government as taxes and royalties.
“This is one of the highest in the world. These benefits that accrue to the government need to also be recognised.”