New Delhi, Dec. 3: Former chief minister Babulal Marandi has urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to set up a high-level inquiry into joint ventures formed by public sector enterprises for coal mining in the light of the Panem Coalfields controversy.
In a letter dated December 1, Marandi, who has joined an ongoing agitation by oustees against Panem, has alleged that the company, a joint venture between Punjab State Electricity Board and EMTA Group of Companies, had indulged in “gross irregularities” leading to huge losses to the state exchequer.
“Not only is the company involved in exploitation of natural resources illegally, it is also doing injustice to the tribal people of the area and is grossly violating environmental norms,” the JVM chief said.
Marandi claimed Panem was mining coal in excess of stipulated quantities. “This theft,” he alleged, “leads to a daily benefit of Rs 4.32 crore. Hence, in six years, they have stolen coal worth Rs 9,500 crore.”