Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Bureaucrats spin and spiral the corruption curve of India

Bureaucrats hired by companies which they helped get coal fields allotted to?
New Delhi: The investigation into the coal scam has the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) looking at whether bureaucrats colluded with private companies to get coal blocks despite being ineligible.
What is clear already is that several senior bureaucrats who could have helped inference the allocation process were employed by private companies after leaving the government.
R V Shahi was India's longest serving power secretary - he held the position between 2002 and 2007. During this time, Jindal Steel and Power Limited, owned by Congress MP Navin Jindal, was allocated two coal blocks. Mr Shahi is now an Independent Director of the same company, whose businesses include steel, power and mining.
Like other companies, Jindal Steel and Power was chosen by a screening committee that included representatives of different ministries and stakeholders. Mr Shahi says that the coal blocks given to Mr Jindal's firm were for sponge iron plants and not for power, therefore, he says, officials from his ministry would not have played a role in the selection process.
But during Mr Shahi's tenure as power secretary, two other Jindal Group companies were assigned coal blocks for power plants. These companies are headed by Navin Jindal's brothers and he is a director in one of them.
Both Shahi and Navin Jindal dismissed any allegations of wrongdoing or favouritism.
In Jharkhand, P P Sharma was the Chief Secretary between December 2004 to January 2006, and then again from August 2007 to March 2008. Now, he is a full-time director with the Abhijeet Group, which has power and mining projects spread across Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Bihar and West Bengal.
During Mr Sharma's tenure as Chief Secretary, the same Abhijeet Group got five coal blocks. Though the allocations are done by the Coal Ministry, the state government's views are critical in the selection process and senior officials from the state where the coal field is located are on the screening committee that decides on applications.
Mr N C Jha is the CEO of the mining business of Monnet Energy and Ispat Limited - the second largest coal-based sponge-iron manufacturer in India.
Mr Jha was the Technical Director of government-owned Coal India from 2007 and Chairman of Coal India Limited in 2011. The Technical Director of Coal India is a member of the Screening Committee.
Between 2008 to 2010, the group was allocated three coal blocks for power and sponge iron by the coal ministry.
Bureaucrats hired by companies which they helped get coal fields allotted
Comment: Politicians, Businessmen and Bureaucrats cemented in milking the nation of its vital assets and transferring them to Swiss like Secret Accounts. Will the CBI book these corrupt Bureaucrats?

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