Thursday, August 30, 2012

You Spit on Me, I will do the same to You!!
Yes, this is what is going on between the two major political outfits, BJP Vs INC in terms of coal block allocation to private companies. Meanwhile, the CAG has become, the Joker in the Pack, and with its lopsided arguments, has made a mockery of the stated government policies for not choosing an auction route, instead of competitive bidding process. They have stated that the loss in the exchequer could have been more than 10 times of what they have projected, taking conservative estimates. Meanwhile, the government has said that there is no question of cancelling the allocation of coal mines, except 6-7 mines where some anomaly was found in the initial investigation process. Hence, the share holders of Reliance Power and JSW Steel and other companies who received coal blocks are safe as of now.
Now the question is from where the loss comes, when the stated government policy is to give mines to the private companies. One constitutional authority cannot throw garbage on another one unless there is some valid reasons for doing the same. Moreover, there is no guarantee, that auction could bring in more money, when there are ample cases, where it has been found that cartelisation of the process has virtualy made it very cheap. Many of the government auctions are very cheap, and agents rush in from Kerala to Kashmir to get them---hence, it is flawed to say that, auction will be the best route while the others are all nonsense. Every system has its inherent weakness and vested interest, actually exploits them for their ulterior motives. The roll of the government and the opposition should be to iron out these kinks and find out the best possible route instead of fighting like wild animals, outside the Parliament.
In this case I feel the argument of CAG is flawed, because it is the work of the legislature to find out the best process of delivery at a given time. The CAG cannot dictate the government as how it should proceed, except suggesting their methodology.  Hence, I feel all these talks of astronomical loss are simply hoax.
Moreover, the BJP's contention, that why the mining could not be started immediately, is also, blinkered. It is because it takes a lot of time to make a mine fit for operation or functional. It is not possible to start mining immediately, after getting the allotment; as the the mines, need to be first made fit for mining, in terms of equipment (materials) handling and logistics. Besides, this lot of clearances are necessary before the companies can actually start the mining process, for example,  Site Clearance from MoEF and Environmental Clearance from MoEF, Government of India. In case of project proposals, where forest land under Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 is a part of the project site, prior forestry clearance by Forest Department is essential for environmental clearance either by Central or State Government as the case may be. So, it is all a flawed argument as why the mining could not be started even today. I know the case of Jai Balaji Industries Ltd which got forest clearance, only last month and the mining is expected to start from ONLY from December, 2012.
Some of those who came to media also talked about the about the notional monetary gains when the share prices rose, following the allocation of mines. I want to mention two points here: (i) The rise or fall in share price is purely sentiment driven, which gets magnified during the bull/bear phases (ii) Unless the promoters sells the shares of those companies, through the stock exchanges or otherwise, none gains through such rise. So, all these talks of rise in the share price and the companies, making windfall gains only holds good when either their promoters or shareholders sell the shares---till then everything is neutral.  
The point I am trying to hammer hard is that, there is rampant corruption in mining in every state and all the nationalized parties (including some regional parties too) are involved in corruption, be in West Bengal or Karnataka or Chattisgarh or Madhya Pradesh.  The time has come to find a solution, so that the GOI does not suffer, the loss, as we try to plug the loopholes. It is unfortunate that a mud slinging is going on between the Congress and the BJP, when everyone knows where the truth actually stands. I therefore urge the disgruntled BJP members to come to the Parliament and start debate on the topic, instead of taking an escapist route, as its name could be dragged. 
Also, I do not understand why BJP wants the resignation of the PM of India, Dr.Manmohan Singh (MMS), because I feel his continuance in the office is positive for the BJP. If MMS is shown the door and an effective/efficient mass leader like Mr.Sharad Pawar or Mr.P Chidambaram or Ms.Mamata Banerjee is made the PM of this country, then it would bring further problems for the BJP in the next elections. The problem with BJP, is that it has been taken hostage by few leaders from Delhi, who neither have mission or vision. UNFORTUNATE, could be the right word.
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